Terrorism

The Anti-Jihadist Jihad

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If you rushed to announce that the terrorist attacks in Norway were "a sobering reminder for those who think it's too expensive to wage a war against jihadists," you're having your "Send the body to Glenn Beck" moment. It's not just that Anders Behring Breivik is not a jihadist. It's that he hails from the wing of the right that defines itself by its opposition to jihad, and to the leftists that it sees as jihad's enablers. That was clear enough from Breivik's Web comments that I blogged on Friday, but now there's more evidence: Breivik turns out to be the author of a long manifesto [pdf], and it reveals an Islamophobe opposed to immigration and obsessed with dhimmitude and "cultural Marxism." (Just to confuse matters, it is also partly plagiarized from the Unabomber.)

Interestingly, Breivik is still getting tagged with the wrong labels, as reporters unfamiliar with the nuances of the far right reach for words that don't really fit his particular constellation of views. He is described as a "fundamentalist," but his manifesto states that he's "not going to pretend I'm a very religious person." He is described as a "neo-Nazi," but he denounces Islamic oppression of Jews, identifies himself as pro-Israel, and expresses concern about anti-Semitic hate crimes. Øyvind Strømmen comments:

Breivik was inspired by an internet community who brands itself "counter jihadist", a community espousing an ideology that may be considered as extreme right-wing, which also has connections to European neo-fascism. It's a community I have been following fairly closely for a number of years. I am not surprised that the spirit of this community has now resulted in an act of terror in Norway. What is surprising is the scale, the scope of the terrorist attacks. The number of casualties exceeds the Al Qa'ida attack in London a few years ago. Although there are examples of terrorist attacks perpetrated by similarly motivated people in the past, they have not approached the scale of this incident.

In related news: Remember that odd moment when a purported group called "Assistants of the Global Jihad" claimed responsibility for the attacks? Here's what happened.