On Norway

Jul. 25th, 2011 01:11 am
hradzka: (plane)
[personal profile] hradzka
The news investigation of the mass murders in Norway, is, as you'd expect, being handled by Norwegian media, which means they're getting the good info and all I can find is the stuff the English-language media deigns to pass on and what I can pry out of Google Translate. So I can't provide a detailed timeline here. I also haven't seen any information on the exact weaponry used. (The author of what's plausibly alleged to be Breivik's manifesto states he legally owned a pump-action shotgun, a bolt-action rifle in .308 Winchester, and a semi-auto Ruger Mini-14.) I'm not familiar with Norwegian gun laws, and I really don't know anything about right-wing politics in Norway. Until there's more information I can't reliably tell how far out the places Breivik was posting, and the people he was hanging out with, actually were. All I can go by is what are purported to be his own writings. More about that in a bit.

It's not surprising that a lot of people immediately suspected Islamist terrorism. Breivik didn't just commit a violent act; he committed spectacularly violent acts, and we've seen instance after instance of these from Islamists, whereas most Western political violence tends to be lower-level. Even when people die, the most spectacular of these incidents are relatively small (the people who burned to death in the riots in Greece, for example, or the assassination of doctors who perform abortions). For really spectacular bits of political violence? Well, there's Timothy McVeigh, and Al Qaeda. And now there's allegedly Anders Breivik.

There have been other ideological mass shooters -- some of them anti-feminists who targeted women -- but these people also tend to be emotionally disturbed to the point of being suicidal, and their crimes aren't calculated so much as cathartic. That's very much not what happened here. Breivik is reportedly well-off, successful in business, and, to judge by his writing (here are some of his posts, Google-translated), quite intelligent and articulate. By all current reports, he was not a loser: he had a decent life, and wanted something else, and deliberately threw that decent life away. He made a clearheaded decision to become what he became, and then devoted his resources to making sure he could do the best job possible at it.

Forget his politics for a moment: it's his combination of cold clearheadedness and forethought that scares the willies out of me.

I've mentioned before that mass shooters, thankfully, seem to very rarely pay attention to tactical considerations; they mostly like to proceed to a site that's emotionally significant to them and then roam around aimlessly shooting people, in the manner of Columbine, even though Columbine was not a successful mass shooting but a bombing that failed. Breivik threw all of that out the window. Never in the history of spree killings, to my knowledge, has there ever been anyone who planned his acts as thoroughly and carefully as Anders Breivik, and then successfully carried those acts out. If he did in fact act alone (which is quite possible; hard left and Islamist violence tends mostly to be organized by groups, but for quite some time the hard right has gone very much toward the "lone wolf" model of violence, which is a conscious strategy designed to get around the fact that their organizations are only slightly less heavily infiltrated by law enforcement than were the anarchists in Chesterton's THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY), Breivik has the single highest body count of any lone mass shooter in history. The guy who comes in second is a South Korean police officer named Woo Bum-kon, who decided one night in 1982 that he was going to wander off post and slaughter pretty much every single villager he met. Woo killed 56 people before committing suicide; he was in a rural area, he cut the telephone lines before he started operating, and he had grenades and an eight-hour operating window. Breivik eclipsed that in a couple of hours.

Here's how much thought Breivik put into planning: I will bet you anything that he read up on Woo Bum-kon. Why? Woo wore his police uniform throughout the rampage, and used it to lure his victims into a false sense of security. He'd knock on the front door, the family would let the nice officer in, and then he'd slaughter everyone in the house. Woo did this over and over again.

Guess what Breivik was wearing when he shot up that Labor Party summer camp?

News reports differ on the weaponry, as should be expected. Some have stated that the alleged perpetrator legally owned a pistol, rifle, and shotgun, but a lot of news reports have stated that he used a full-auto weapon during his assault on the Labour camp. The author of the text claiming plausibly to be his manifesto states that he legally owned a pump-action shotgun, a bolt-action rifle in .308 Winchester, and a semi-automatic Ruger Mini-14 (that's in .223, like the M-16 and AR-15). Note: no pistol. He was carrying multiple weapons, but we don't know the full details yet. One article I've seen states that he was carrying a "machine gun" but only fired single shots. His photo shows that he bolted a truckload of accessories onto his semi-auto Mini-14, so my guess is that's what he used. (Don't expect any accuracy about the guns and bullets for a while. Dr. Colin Poole, a head surgeon at a hospital involved in treating patients, actually told the UK TELEGRAPH that the killer used "dum-dum bullets," because the bullets fragmented. My guess is that Dr. Poole is not very familiar with gunshot trauma, because .223 bullets can fragment even if they're fully jacketed -- it's a velocity thing.)

Playing dead continues to be an unreliable counter-strategy: by some accounts the perpetrator made headshots on downed victims, and he shot at least one person who was playing dead (who managed to survive the wound). I've mentioned before that I was really worried that mass shooters would emulate Virginia Tech's Seng-Hui Cho; now I'm really worried that terrorists -- not just ones who agree with Breivik's politics, but of any number of stripes -- will emulate his tactics and logistics, because 1) his tactics are diabolically effective, in particular his careful selection of ground to minimize opportunities for victims to escape and 2) his logistics are such that it's going to be damn hard to effectively counter people emulating him, because his whole logistical gimmick is to make everything appear simple and uncomplicated and normal until it's time to strike.

Most of the news sites have been running photographs of Breivik in his Freemasonry apron, or in his wetsuit. Those are the wrong photos. The photo they should be running is this one, because this is the one that's important:

That is Anders Breivik cosplaying as a Knight Justiciar Commander of the Knights Templar PCCTS, and if you want to understand him you'd better understand that, because that's how he's going to present himself from now on. If they allow him to wear that uniform at trial, he will do it. Breivik gives the specifications for it, should anyone else want to wear one. This is interesting, considering that he spends the front part of the manifesto talking about the need for secrecy, for not telling anybody what you're up to, if you're going to be a Knight Justiciar. He suggests claiming that you're busy playing WoW.

No, really, he does. On page 851:

3.26 Avoiding suspicion from relatives, neighbours and friends
Present a ”credible project/alibi” to your friends, co-workers and family. Announce to your closest friends, co-workers and family that you are pursuing a ”project” that can at least partly justify your ”new pattern of activities” (isolation/travel) while in the planning phase.
F example, tell them that you have started to play World of Warcraft or any other online MMO game and that you wish to focus on this for the next months/year. This ”new project” can justify isolation and people will understand somewhat why you are not answering your phone over long periods. Tell them that you are completely hooked on the game (raiding dungeons etc). Emphasise to them that this is a dream you have had since you were a kid. If they stress you, insist and ask them to respect your decision. You will be amazed on how much you can do undetected while blaming this game. If your planning requires you to travel, say that you are visiting one of your WoW friends, or better yet, a girl from your ”guild” (who lives in another country). No further questions will be raised if you present these arguments.

And later he talks about how to make your uniform, the decorations, and what company has a high-resolution copy of his shoulder patch on file and can make you one. (NOTE TO FBI: send Google a subpoena for that gmail address.) Based on those descriptions, for example, he's awarded himself the following "military" decorations: the posthumous Justiciar Knight MIlitary order of the Martyrs, the Red Cross of Constantine Breast Jewel, the Knight of Malta Breast Jewels (for 15 and 10 commendations, respectively); and the following ribbons: Honorable Crusader Medal, one I can't identify, Outstanding volunteer service medal, infantry cross, destroyer of cultural marxism commendation, Clandestine Logistica Excellence, Commendation of the Financier, recruiter training commendation, commendation of intellectual excellence, purple cross medal, prisoner of war, Legacy of Charles Martel, defender of christendom, national defense service medal. Also, he's wearing Justiciar Knight Commander epaulettes and an officer's gold aguillete.

This is how he sees himself, and he'll give a statement accordingly in court. You can find what he plans to say in the manifesto.

Oddly, even though I've read many of the political arguments he quotes, it was the bit with the uniform that felt most familiar. A dress uniform complete with decorations for an army that 1) is a guerrilla movement and 2) does not actually exist? You know what that smells like to me? World-building. Anders Brievik is a geek who has written his political manifesto as, essentially, an RPG sourcebook. On page 777, in part of an odd disclaimer evidently designed to protect himself from legal responsibility should he have been discovered before his massacre ( "The book contains detailed strategies (guerrilla tactics, instructions to execute, political campaigns etc.) which normally would be partly incriminatory to anyone who published or distributed the book (had it not been fiction)."), he describes himself as a "sci-fi enthusiast." I'm not surprised.

I actually have a good bit more to say about Breivik's manifesto: its politics, its construction, and its implications, but it's late and I want to publish this much. The short version is that several righty commentators I've read have written off Breivik as a nut, but while that would be comforting I think they're very wrong. Breivik is not delusional. He's very clear about what he's doing. Oddly, it's something that would see him agreeing with Osama bin Laden, who famously said that when people see a weak horse and a strong horse they prefer the strong horse. Breivick is thinking in terms of pure power. And in his view, the definitive proof of political power is the ability to commit violence with impunity. He's trying to counter Islam by preempting and surpassing the tactics of violent Islamism, and by bringing his political philosophy to dominate Europe in the same way he believes that Islam is attempting to do.

The implications of this have the potential to be pretty far-reaching, and Breivick's manifesto is worth serious study. His acts have the potential to lay the groundwork for a new generation of terrorists, and not all of them will necessarily agree with Anders Breivick. He's just shown exactly what a cell-less terrorist can do, if he puts his mind to it, and has resources, time, diligence, and a willingness to throw his life away.

For the record, I suspect Breivick was largely a lone wolf for all practical purposes -- ie, I doubt anyone else knew the specifics of his operation, or even that there would be an operation, before he did it. His manifesto has some weird errors and sections marked as "ROUGH DRAFT," suggesting he didn't have a friend proofread it before he sent it out, and the photo of the uniform shows everything on the opposite side as the directions in the text description, so he wasn't getting much feedback. But that's not saying investigators shouldn't be looking for sympathizers. Check out page 827:

Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici – PCCTS (the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon), the Knights Templar was re-founded in London in 2002 by representatives from eight European countries, for the purpose of serving the interests of the free indigenous peoples of Europe and to fight against the ongoing European Jihad (referred to as the “third Jihad”). The Knights Templar was re-founded as a pan-European nationalist military order and a military/criminal tribunal with two primary objectives. The order is to serve as an armed Indigenous Rights Organisation and as a Crusader Movement (anti-Jihad movement).
The founding session (two meetings consisting of 4 founding members and host as a security precaution) was held in London, United Kingdom – Apr, 2002.
Founding (re-founding) members:
Anonymous 1 - Nationality: English Protestant (Host)
Anonymous 2 - Nationality: English Christian atheist
Anonymous 3 - Nationality: French Catholic
Anonymous 4 - Nationality: German Christian atheist
Anonymous 5 - Nationality: Dutch Christian agnostic
Anonymous 6 - Nationality: Greek Orthodox
Anonymous 7 - Nationality: Russian Christian atheist
Anonymous 8 - Nationality: Norwegian Protestant (member and proxy for 9)
Anonymous 9 - Nationality: Serbian Orthodox (by proxy, location: Monrovia, Liberia)
Unable to attend:
Anonymous 10 – Nationality: Swedish
Anonymous 11 – Nationality: Belgian
Anonymous 12 – Nationality: European-American
(Names will be kept classified indefinitely to avoid cultural Marxist/ multiculturalist persecution but each individual may reveal his own name during the three phases at his own convenience).

If I were law enforcement, I'd be looking for those guys. Yesterday.

Date: 2011-07-24 11:01 pm (UTC)
the_future_modernes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_future_modernes
Breivik didn't just commit a violent act; he committed spectacularly violent acts, and we've seen instance after instance of these from Islamists, whereas most Western political violence tends to be lower-level. Even when people die, the most spectacular of these incidents are relatively small (the people who burned to death in the riots in Greece, for example, or the assassination of doctors who perform abortions). For really spectacular bits of political violence? Well, there's Timothy McVeigh, and Al Qaeda. And now there's allegedly Anders Breivik.

Really? The IRA and the Basque guys don't count? Also: Lone Wolf terrorism. Funny how these things end up in the memory hole while a narrative of those extremely violent Islamists/Muslims is a drumbeat in every newspaper and tv station on the planet.

Date: 2011-07-24 11:02 pm (UTC)
the_future_modernes: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_future_modernes
How in the hell does one award ones self? Isn't the point of awards that someone else finds what you've done cool?

And..the indigenous rights of Europeans?!?!? There are 2% Muslims in Norway!!! What fucking rights of his are under threat?!!
Edited Date: 2011-07-24 11:08 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-07-25 12:20 am (UTC)
cheyinka: A Metroid from Metroid Prime, made to look like an old, faded photograph. (faded Metroid)
From: [personal profile] cheyinka
I've read that, in Norway, you can't own a firearm at all, period, unless you're an active member of a gun club - meaning that should someone decide to use a legally-owned firearm for evil things, that person is likely to be at least somewhat competent with the weapon. Given how much planning Breivik put into this, however, I think he would have included "practice with my intended weapons" even if firearm ownership was open to anyone, so whether he was in fact the shooter or not, anyone following his plan would have been somewhat-competent with the weapons used. (Does his manifesto include that, actually? I don't have the stomach to read it.)

Date: 2011-07-25 12:22 am (UTC)
cheyinka: A Metroid from Metroid Prime, made to look like an old, faded photograph. (faded Metroid)
From: [personal profile] cheyinka
Too, part of the "it must be Islamists again!" thing is because at least one Islamist group took credit for either the bombings or the bombings and the shootings, isn't it?

Date: 2011-07-25 05:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] vvalkyri.livejournal.com
I listened to a bbc world service interview with the guy who was shot in the shoulder while playing dead and hiding amongst the bodies of friends and acquaintences. who had first run all about the island and in the woods and into the water then back from the water and for some strange reason didn't get shot when the shooter was on the cliff above him.

chilling as all hell. fwiw he mentioned machine gun, particularly while talking of him shooting the people swimming. i also couldn't get over this survivor's calm voice while talking about all this horror, and not even in his first language.

Date: 2011-07-25 07:38 am (UTC)
grey_bard: (Default)
From: [personal profile] grey_bard
Shock is a hell of a thing.

Date: 2011-07-25 07:54 am (UTC)
rydra_wong: the illuminated Sarajevo haggadah (sarajevo haggadah)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
It's not surprising that a lot of people immediately suspected Islamist terrorism. Breivik didn't just commit a violent act; he committed spectacularly violent acts, and we've seen instance after instance of these from Islamists, whereas most Western political violence tends to be lower-level.

*coughs* Dude, I live in London. You've seen the Eddie Izzard riff about "bombing season ... Bomb scare? Oh, there's another Boots The Chemist on Tottenham Court Road, yeah, okay, no problem" when the IRA were active? That produced the laughter of recognition.

So, bomb blast killing seven in a capital city: my immediate thought is that it could be almost any group. That's not remotely a unique or distinctive style of attack.

Then the methodical, orchestrated, calm massacre by a single shooter: I don't know of any precedent for that, apart from, as you say, Woo Bum-kon. That is almost unique.

So no, I'm not seeing any justification for leaping to "It wuz teh Islamists!" Saying that it was "spectacular" and Islamist terrorists also engage in "spectacular" violence seems to be stretching it.

I can't reliably tell how far out the places Breivik was posting, and the people he was hanging out with, actually were.

According to Breivik, some of them were our homegrown little fascists in the UK, the EDL (of "Muslamic ray guns" fame). Here's a link if you want more info:


Date: 2011-07-25 04:24 pm (UTC)
jadey: greyscale a woman's face (ani difranco) eyes upward  (Default)
From: [personal profile] jadey
What about the fact that the focus on Muslim groups preceded full knowledge of the death toll? The first reports I read on Friday were citing "10, possibly nine" dead paired with lengthy speculation on motivations for Muslim terrorist involvement, which included the cartoon fall-out and NATO, but no references to supposedly characteristic extreme levels of violence. I think the point stands that when we hear "bombing", we think "Muslims", even though many groups and individuals have bombed in the name of many ideologies, and that our reasons for doing so are biased, not logical.

Otherwise, thank you for this very clear analysis - I think you are spot-on.

Date: 2011-07-25 06:18 pm (UTC)
cheyinka: A sketch of a Metroid (Eeek! A Metroid!)
From: [personal profile] cheyinka
... that is an immensely freaky thought. Added freakiness if the Islamist sympathizer roughly resembled Breivick himself.

Date: 2011-07-25 05:10 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
My take on the car bomb was totally different from yours, and remains so.

I think you're making assumptions about my take on it that are incorrect.

The car bomb went off outside the prime minister's office, doing considerable damage to government offices; the reason people regard it as a spectacular is that it looks a lot like an attempt at a decapitating strike.

I agree with all of that. See:


This is not exactly ancient history.

In later years they tended to focus more heavily on property damage -- bodies, as Dolan/Brecher points out, were counter-productive to their ends.

Again: I live in this country. I know this.

I also grew up with a policeman on my doorstep (literally) because we lived next door to a member of the British Cabinet during the hunger strikes, and he was an obvious assasination target. In later years, a close family member had a police-trained driver who checked under his car with a mirror every morning because his name was On A List. And I'm not that old.

The fact that in recent years the IRA shifted towards property damage and entered into the negotiation and peace process is a specific fact about the IRA (note: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omagh_bombing , which was 1998 -- the IRA are not the only players).

It's not really a basis for deciding that "Western political violence" is inherently small-scale and anything dramatic must surely be Teh Islamists.

Date: 2011-07-25 06:52 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: the illuminated Sarajevo haggadah (sarajevo haggadah)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
Oh, absolutely. Right now, if you have a terrorist attack on a capital city with an unknown perpetrator, of course people are going to wonder if it's Al Qaeda, and it's completely reasonable for that to be one of the possibilities that gets discussed.

What is problematic is when the punditry assume that it must be Teh Islamists and launch into discussions of how obviously this has the unique signature of Al Qaeda and MUSLIMS: WHY DO THEY HATE OUR NORWAY'S FREEDOMS?


Date: 2011-07-26 04:46 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
Thanks for the clarification and perspective on the UK view -- it's appreciated.

Eh, sorry for going off at you. I think it's hard to appreciate from the outside how completely omnipresent the threat of IRA bombing was for a significant period (it was a while before it even occurred to me: oh yeah, and there was that time there was the mortar attack on Downing Street!). But it was recent enough to (for example) hugely shape how Londoners responded to 7/7.

Date: 2011-07-25 08:38 am (UTC)
nicki: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nicki
"nut case" is too often used to mean "person who did a thing I don't understand". It sounds like what he did was well planned and logical and dispassionate, though horrifying to most of the rest of us. Whether or not one puts that into the realm of "anti-social personality disorder" might be debatable.

Military strategy in general consists of ways to kill the largest number of the correct people in the fastest and most effective ways and we don't usually think of that as "crazy".

Date: 2011-07-25 08:52 pm (UTC)
nicki: (Default)
From: [personal profile] nicki
Might be an organized psychopath, there are some behavior overlaps between that and sociopathology. Although if he/his lawyers eventually claim psychopathology, it's possible we'll never know.

Date: 2011-07-26 10:52 am (UTC)
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
As I understand it, psychopaths generally aren't motivated by ideology; they're not concerned for anything outside themselves.

I think there's a tendency to feel that for someone to be able to carry out a massacre like that, they must be "wrong in the head" somehow. But that isn't necessarily mental illness or personality disorder in any conventional sense.

(Of course, psychopathy is its own weird category, since it's not a mental illness in the usual sense either; it's more "this label we slap on people who seem to have a problem with their conscience being missing.")

Date: 2011-08-11 03:43 am (UTC)
recessional: bare-footed person in jeans walks on log (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
psychopaths generally aren't motivated by ideology

No, but they can fall in love with, for lack of a better word, the ROMANCE of an ideology and the way in which an ideology glorifies and validates their desire for power and the right to do whatever they want.

Date: 2011-07-26 03:03 am (UTC)
phoenix64: Casey, text: damn trang darts (chuck casey tranq darts)
From: [personal profile] phoenix64
I wish I could remember where I read something about how the psychology of mass killers and serial killers is diametrically opposed (knowing my habits it was probably a Michael Slade book several years ago). Basically what it boiled down to was that serial killers are acting to gain pleasure and mass killers are acting to end pain, which is why mass killers are usually suicides.

In light of that I'm very curious if Brevik intended to survive, but I'm inclined to think his psychology really doesn't fit with most mass killers who really are driven more by illness than ideology.

Date: 2011-07-28 03:26 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Norway: Lessons from a Successful Lone Wolf Attacker (http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110727-norway-lessons-successful-lone-wolf-attacker) is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

By Scott Stewart

On the afternoon of July 22, a powerful explosion ripped through the streets of Oslo, Norway, as a large improvised explosive device (IED) in a rented van detonated between the government building housing the prime minister’s office and Norway’s Oil and Energy Department building. According to the diary of Anders Breivik, the man arrested in the case who has confessed to fabricating and placing the device, the van had been filled with 950 kilograms (about 2,100 pounds) of homemade ammonium nitrate-based explosives.

After lighting the fuse on his IED, Breivik left the scene in a rented car and traveled to the island of Utoya, located about 32 kilometers (20 miles) outside of Oslo. The island was the site of a youth campout organized by Norway’s ruling Labor Party. Before taking a boat to the island, Breivik donned body armor and tactical gear bearing police insignia (intended to afford him the element of tactical surprise). Once on the island he opened fire on the attendees at the youth camp with his firearms, a semiautomatic 5.56-caliber Ruger Mini-14 rifle and a 9 mm Glock pistol. Due to the location of the camp on a remote island, Breivik had time to kill 68 people and wound another 60 before police responded to the scene.

Shortly before the attack, Breivik posted a manifesto on the Internet that includes his lengthy operational diary. He wrote the diary in English under the Anglicized pen name Andrew Berwick, though a careful reading shows he also posted his true identity in the document. The document also shows that he was a lone wolf attacker who conducted his assault specifically against the Labor Party’s current and future leadership. Breivik targeted the Labor Party because of his belief that the party is Marxist-oriented and is responsible for encouraging multiculturalism, Muslim immigration into Norway and, acting with other similar European governments, the coming destruction of European culture. Although the Labor Party members are members of his own race, he considers them traitors and holds them in more contempt than he does Muslims. In fact, in the manifesto, Breivik urged others not to target Muslims because it would elicit sympathy for them.

Breivik put most of his time and effort into the creation of the vehicle-borne IED (VBIED) that he used to attack his primary target, the current government, which is housed in the government building. It appears that he believed the device would be sufficient to destroy that building. It was indeed a powerful device, but the explosion killed only eight people. This was because the device did not bring down the building as Breivik had planned and many of the government employees who normally work in the area were on summer break. In the end, the government building was damaged but not destroyed in the attack, and no senior government officials were killed. Most of the deaths occurred at the youth camp, which Breivik described as his secondary target.

While Breivik’s manifesto indicated he planned and executed the attack as a lone wolf, it also suggests that he is part of a larger organization that he calls the “Pauperes Commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici (PCCTS, also known as the Knights Templar,) which seeks to encourage other lone wolves (which Brevik refers to as “Justiciar Knights”) and small cells in other parts of Europe to carry out a plan to “save” Europe and European culture from destruction.

Because of the possibility that there are other self-appointed Justiciar Knights in Norway or in other parts of Europe and that Breivik’s actions, ideology and manifesto could spawn copycats, we thought it useful to examine the Justiciar Knights concept as Breivik explains it to see how it fits into lone wolf theory and how similar actors might be detected in the future.

An Opening Salvo?

From reading his manifesto, it is clear that Breivik, much like Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, believes that his attack is the opening salvo in a wider campaign, in this case to liberate Europeans from what Breivik views as malevolent, Marxist-oriented governments. These beliefs are what drove Breivik to attack the Norwegian Labor Party. As noted above, it is also clear that Breivik planned and executed his attack alone.

However, he also discusses how he was radicalized and influenced by a Serbian living in Liberia whom he visited there. And Breivik claims to have attended a meeting in London in 2002 to “re-found the Knights Templar.” This organization, PCCTS, which was founded in 2002, is not related to the much older official and public chivalric order also known as the Knights Templar. According to Breivik, the PCCTS was formed with the stated purpose of fighting back against “European Jihad” and to defend the “free indigenous peoples of Europe.” To achieve this goal, the PCCTS would implement a three-phase plan designed to seize political and military power in Europe. In his manifesto Breivik outlines the plan as follows:

Phase 1 (1999-2030): Cell-based shock attacks, sabotage attacks, etc.
Phase 2 (2030-2070): Same as above but bigger cells/networks, armed militias.
Phase 3 (2070-2100): Pan-European coup d’etats, deportation of Muslims and execution of traitors.
As outlined in Breivik’s manifesto, the 2002 meeting was attended by seven other individuals, two from England and one each from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece and Russia. He also asserts that the organization has members from Serbia (his contact living in Liberia), Sweden, Belgium and the United States who were unable to attend the meeting. Brevik states that all the members of the PCCTS were given code names for security, that his code name was “Sigurd,” and that he was mentored by a member with the code name “Richard the Lionhearted” (presumably a Briton). Breivik claims that after meeting these individuals via the Internet he was carefully vetted before being allowed to join the group.

The diary section of Breivik’s manifesto reveals that during the planning process for the attack Breivik traveled to Prague to obtain firearms and grenades from Balkan organized-crime groups there (he had hoped to obtain a fully-automatic AK-47). Breivik was not able to procure weapons in Prague and instead was forced to use weapons he was able to obtain in Norway by legal means. It is interesting that he did not contact the Serbian member of the PCCTS for assistance in making contact with Balkan arms dealers. Breivik’s lawyer told the media July 26 that although Breivik acted alone in conducting his attack, he had been in contact with two terror cells in Norway and other cells abroad. Certainly, Norway and its partners in EUROPOL and the United States will try to identify these other individuals, if they do in fact exist.

In phase one of the PCCTS plan, shock attacks were to be carried out by individuals operating as lone wolves or small cells of Breivik’s so-called Justiciar Knights, which are self-appointed guardians who decide to follow the PCCTS code outlined in Breivik’s manifesto and who are granted the authority to act as “a judge, jury and executioner until the free, indigenous peoples of Europe are no longer threatened by cultural genocide, subject to cultural Marxist/Islamic tyranny or territorial or existential threats through Islamic demographic warfare.”

Breivik’s manifesto notes that he does not know how many Justiciar Knights there are in Western Europe but estimates their number to be from 15 to 80. It is unclear if this is a delusion on his part and there are no other Justiciar Knights or if Breivik has some factual basis for his belief that there are more individuals like him planning attacks.

While some observers have noted that the idea of Justiciar Knights operating as lone wolves and in small cells is similar to the calls in recent years for grassroots jihadists to adopt lone wolf tactics, it is important to understand that leaderless resistance has been a central theme of white supremacist groups in the United States since the early 1990s. While Breivik did not express any anti-Semitism in his manifesto (something he has been heavily criticized for on U.S. anti-Semitic websites), clearly the anti-immigration and anti-Marxist ideology of the PCCTS has been influenced more by white hate groups than by al Qaeda.

Moreover, the concept of a self-identified Justiciar Knight is quite similar to the idea of a “Phineas Priest” in the leaderless resistance model propagated by some white supremacists in the United States who adhere to “Christian Identity” ideology. In this model, Phineas Priests see themselves as lone wolf militants chosen by God and set apart to be his “agents of vengeance” upon the earth. Phineas Priests also believe that their attacks will serve to ignite a wider “racial holy war” that will ultimately lead to the salvation of the white race.

Leaderless resistance has also been advocated by militant anarchists as well as animal rights and environmentalist activists who belong to such groups as the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front. So it is not correct to think of leaderless resistance merely as a jihadist construct — it has long been used by a variety of militant actors.

Lone Wolf Challenges

One of the great strengths of our enemies, the Western European cultural Marxist/multiculturalist regimes is their vast resources and their advanced investigation/forensic capabilities. There are thousands of video cameras all over European major cities and you will always risk leaving behind dna, finger prints, witnesses or other evidence that will eventually lead to your arrest. They are overwhelmingly superior in almost every aspect. But every 7 headed monster has an Achilles heel. This Achilles heel is their vulnerability against single/duo martyr cells. — Anders Breivik

As STRATFOR has long discussed, the lone wolf operational model presents a number of challenges for law enforcement, intelligence and security officers. The primary challenge is that, by definition, lone wolves are solitary actors and it can be very difficult to determine their intentions before they act because they do not work with anyone else. When militants are operating in a cell consisting of more than one person, there is a larger chance that one of them will get cold feet and reveal the plot to authorities, that law enforcement and intelligence personnel will intercept a communication between conspirators, or that the authorities will be able to insert an informant into the group.

This ability to fly solo and under the radar of law enforcement has meant that some lone wolf militants such as Joseph Paul Franklin, Theodore Kaczynski and Eric Rudolph were able to operate for years before being identified and captured. Indeed, from Breivik’s diary, we know he took several years to plan and execute his attack without detection.

As the Breivik case illustrates, lone wolves also pose problems because they can come from a variety of backgrounds with a wide range of motivations. While some lone wolves are politically motivated, others are religiously motivated and some are mentally unstable.

In addition to the wide spectrum of ideologies and motivations among lone wolves, there is also the issue of geographic dispersal. As we’ve seen from past cases, their plots and attacks have occurred in many different locations and are not confined just to Manhattan, London or Washington. Lone wolf attacks can occur anywhere.

Furthermore, it is extremely difficult to differentiate between those extremists who intend to commit attacks from those who simply preach hate or hold radical beliefs (things that are not in themselves illegal in many countries). Therefore, to single out likely lone wolves before they strike, authorities must spend a great deal of time and resources looking at individuals who might be moving from radical beliefs to radical actions. This is a daunting task given the large universe of potential suspects.


In spite of the challenges presented by lone wolf operatives, they are vulnerable to detection at several different stages of their attack cycle. One of these vulnerabilities comes during the planning stage when weapons are acquired. From reading Breivik’s diary, it is clear that he felt exposed as he tried to purchase the chemicals he needed to build his IED. Because of this vulnerability, Breivik created an extensive cover story that included renting a farm in order to explain his purchase of a large quantity of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. The farm also provided a private, spacious place for him to construct his IED.

Breivik also exposed himself to potential detection when he traveled to Prague to attempt to purchase weapons. One of the criminals he contacted could have turned him in to authorities. (In June 2011 we saw a jihadist cell in Seattle detected and arrested while attempting to buy guns from a criminal acquaintance. Another small cell was arrested in New York in May 2011, also while attempting to obtain weapons.) Even if Breivik had succeeded in purchasing weapons in Prague, he would still have been vulnerable as he smuggled the weapons back into Norway in his car (though it is important to remember that EU countries have open borders so security checks would not have been too stringent).

Breivik also exposed himself to detection as he conducted surveillance on his targets. Interestingly, in his diary, Breivik goes into excruciating detail discussing how he manufactured his device based on information he was able to obtain from the Internet, but he mentions very little about how he selected specific targets or how he conducted surveillance on them. He mentions only that he visited the sites and programmed the locations into his GPS. He also discusses using a video camera to record his attack but does not mention if he used still or video cameras in his target surveillance. How Breivik specifically chose his targets and how he conducted surveillance on them will be important for the Norwegian authorities to examine.

Finally, Breivik mentions several times in his diary that the steps he was taking would be far more difficult if he were a foreign-born Muslim instead of a Caucasian Norwegian. This underscores a problem we have discussed with profiling suspects based on their ethnicity or nationality. In an environment where potential threats are hard to identify, it is doubly important to profile individuals based on their behavior rather than their ethnicity or nationality — what we refer to as focusing on the “how” rather than the “who.”


Date: 2011-07-28 03:28 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

Norway: Lessons from a Successful Lone Wolf Attacker (http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110727-norway-lessons-successful-lone-wolf-attacker) is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

Not All Lone Wolves are Equal

Finally, in the Breivik case we need to recognize that Norwegian authorities were dealing with a very capable lone wolf operator. While lone wolf theory has been propagated for many years now, there have been relatively few successful lone wolf attacks. This is because it takes a special individual to be a successful lone wolf assailant. Unlike many lone wolves, Breivik demonstrated that he possessed the intelligence and discipline to plan and carry out an attack that spanned several years of preparation. For example, he joined a pistol club in 2005 just in case he ever needed to buy a gun through legal means in Norway, and was able to rely on that alternate plan when his efforts to purchase firearms in Prague failed. Breivik was also driven, detail-oriented and meticulous in his planning. His diary documents that he was also extremely patient and careful during the dangerous trial-and-error process of manufacturing explosives.

It is rare to find a lone wolf militant who possesses all those traits, and Breivik stands in stark contrast to other European grassroots operatives like Nick Reilly or Bilal Abdullah and Kafeel Ahmed, who made amateurish attempts at attacks. Breivik appears to have been a hard worker who claims to have amassed some 500,000 euros by working a variety of jobs and selling a communications company. After some unsuccessful speculation on the stock market he still had enough money and credit to rent the farm and the vehicles he used in the attack and to buy the required bomb components, weapons and body armor. In his diary he says that he began his two tasks — writing the manifesto and conducting the attack — with a war chest of 250,000 euros and several credit cards.

Breivik also is somewhat unique in that he did not attempt to escape after his attacks or become a martyr by his own hand or that of the authorities. Instead, as outlined in his manifesto, he sought to be tried so that he could turn his trial into a grandstand for promoting his ideology beyond what he did with his manifesto and video. He was willing to risk a long prison sentence in order to communicate his principles to the public. This means that the authorities have to be concerned not only about other existing Justiciar Knights but also anyone who may be influenced by Breivik’s message and follow his example.

There is also the possibility that individuals who do not adhere to Breivik’s ideology will seek to exploit the loopholes and security lapses highlighted by this incident to conduct their own attacks. Breivik’s diary provides a detailed step-by-step guide to manufacturing a successful VBIED, and the authorities will be scrutinizing it carefully to address the vulnerabilities Breivik exposed before those instructions can be used again.


hradzka: Cassidy, from Garth Ennis's PREACHER. (Default)

November 2014




The collected poems from my descent into madness year spent writing daily poems are now available from Lulu as the cheapest 330-page book they would let me make ($16.20). If that's too pricey, you can also get it from Lulu as a free download, or just click on the "a poem every day" tag to read them here. But if you did buy one, that'd be awesome.

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