In recent years, European intelligence services have seen radical Islam as the region’s top terrorist threat. After the emergence of Norway’s Anders Behring Breivik, the threat of right-wing extremists is set to take on a new urgency across the continent.
In its first report published last spring, the EU's Europol (European Police Office) identified the region's biggest terrorist threat as radical Islam. But the criminal intelligence agency also lists several attacks committed over the past few years by far-right activists.
In Hungary, three bomb attacks were foiled in 2009, after the murder of several Gypsies in 2008. In France, six people were arrested for activities linked to far-right extremism in Germany. The police also intervened in Great Britain, the Czech Republic and Germany. Elsewhere, police found "enemies lists," as well as explosives, propaganda material and computer data.
This same report also mentions "investigations by the British police who underlined the fact that today, individuals who are motivated by far-right opinions and who act alone are a bigger threat than the current groups or networks that belong to this circle of influence." This circle of influence has access to the Internet and social networks and "is getting more and more professional," says Michel Quillé, Europol's deputy director.
So While Europe has certainly paid less attention to the far-right terrorist threat than it has to the threat of Al-Qaida, it is nevertheless quite familiar with people matching the profile of Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist.
This 32-year-old fundamentalist Christian terrorist joined a far-right party, but then left the group because it was not radical enough for him. However, he has kept in touch with far-right social networks that cater, for example, to European Nazi sympathizers.
To some analysts, Anders Behring Breivik is a "lonewolf," someone who follows a strategy of "leaderless resistance." This concept was invented by the American Far Right during the 1970s. The ideological targets have changed over time, taking a new turn following the emergence of Al-Qaida. The classic enemy list contains foreigners, Jews, Muslims and people belonging to the "multicultural elite." To achieve one's ends, defenders of the white race must act like "lone wolves," said Joseph Tommasi, the founder of a neo-Nazi group in the United States.
ZOG must die!
It is difficult to track down "leaderless resistance" as it involves individuals who obsessively prepare their bomb attacks on their own. The Internet teaches them how to construct homemade bombs using fertilizers. The social networks are useful as well. According to the Europol report, "the social networks allow terrorists to get information about people and their families, and to know how to locate them like never before."
Maxime Brunerie, who tried to murder the then French President Jacques Chirac, was a lone wolf. He was close to a far-right group called Unité Radicale (Radical Unit). Before carrying out his assassination attempt, he left this message on the Internet: "Watch television on Sunday. I'll be the star. The ZOG must die!" ZOG stands for Zionist Occupation Government, a term drawn from Tommasi's anti-Semitic ideology.
There is also the example of David John Copeland, a British neo-Nazi party member who in the Spring of 1999 – over a three-week period – planted several nail bombs (each containing 1,500 nails) throughout London. These bombs targeted districts where black, Asian and gay communities were living. The bomb attacks killed three people and injured 129. Four of them lost limbs.
Read the original article in French