Seeds of terror in Norway

Andrew Gumbel writes:

America’s violent far right would have no difficulty recognizing the tell-tale signatures of Friday’s killing spree in Norway — and not just because they would see the confessed perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, as an ideological soul mate who, like their own heroes, thought he could trigger a white-supremacist revolution with bombs and bullets.

Breivik appears to have been more than simply inspired by American predecessors such as Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber: The materials he used, the way he planned and carried out his attacks, and his own writings all suggest he was deeply familiar with the actions of some notorious political killers on this side of the Atlantic.

Breivik possessed a Glock semiautomatic, the same weapon McVeigh was carrying when he was arrested by a hawk-eyed Highway Patrol officer 90 minutes after the April 1995 bombing in Oklahoma. Breivik also possessed a .223-caliber Ruger assault rifle, just like McVeigh.

The Ruger, in fact, has a long history of use by violent extremists because it is dependable, easy to load and fire, and cheaper than an AR-15 or M-16. It is also convertible, without much difficulty, to a fully automatic weapon.

Gordon Kahl, an iconic white-supremacist tax protester, was armed with a Ruger Mini-14 — the same model as Breivik’s — when he led the FBI on a multi-state shooting spree from North Dakota to Arkansas in 1983. Richard Wayne Snell, a protege of Kahl’s, was carrying a Mini-14 when he killed the only black trooper in southwestern Arkansas in 1984 and then battled it out with police across the state line in Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, the Irish Times reports:

Breivik played the online role-playing war game World of Warcraft with a Dutch enthusiast – who won the Norwegian gunman’s approval because he’d voted for far-right leader Geert Wilders.

In his 1,500-page manifesto, Breivik describes how he used Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft and Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to prepare for last Friday’s twin attacks which left a total of 76 people dead.

“I just bought Modern Warfare 2, the game,” he wrote in the document, entitled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence . “It is probably the best military simulator out there and it’s one of the hottest games this year. I see MW2 more as part of my training-simulation than anything else.”

It emerged yesterday that one of Breivik’s regular opponents in the multi-player computer game – known as WoW – was Dutch video games enthusiast, Jeroen Rink, who had no idea of Breivik’s real political views or of the double massacre he was allegedly planning.

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