In a closed court hearing today in Oslo, the man suspected of killing 76 people (by the latest count) in Norway on Friday said he targeted his country's Labor Party because the "price of their treason is what they had to pay." The suspect, 32-year-old Anders Breivik, had requested the hearing be open so he could use the tragic killing spree as a "marketing" opportunity for his anti-immigration, nativist philosophy. But while the court denied his request, his writings have been painstakingly translated and re-published by the media in an effort better understand Breivik and, in some cases, assign blame to his intellectual forebears. Often times, when Islam-inspired attacks lead to bloodshed, much is made of whether moderate Muslims have condemned such actions. Do Christians and the political right owe the world a similar round of denunciations? Here's what bloggers and reporters are finding out about the roots of Breivik's rage and who, if any, share some blame.
He was inspired by Americans, writes Scott Shane in The New York Times. Examing his 1,500-page manifesto, the Times reporter discovers that Breivik was "deeply influenced by a small group of American bloggers" including Jihad Watch blogger Robert Spencer, Atlas Shrugs blogger Pamela Gellar and the pseudonymously-written blog Gates of Vienna.
In the document he posted online, Anders Behring Breivik... showed that he had closely followed the acrimonious American debate over Islam. His manifesto, which denounced Norwegian politicians as failing to defend the country from Islamic influence, quoted Robert Spencer, who operates the Jihad Watch Web site, 64 times, and cited other Western writers who shared his view that Muslim immigrants pose a grave danger to Western culture.
Breivik's manifesto also plagiarized the work of infamous unabomber Ted Kaczynski, who killed three people and injured two dozen through letter bombs sent between 1978 and 1995. In a series of quotations, Breivik merely replaces Kaczynksi's use of the word "Leftists" or "left" with "cultural Marxism" or "multi-culturalism." Both expressed a deep mistrust of socialist government and a pluralistic society in general (for a side-by-side of their writings, see here).