Anders Behring Breivik had extensive links to the far-Right English Defence League, senior members of the group have admitted.
Breivik was understood to have met leaders of the EDL in March last year when he came to London for the visit of Geert Wilders, the Dutch Right-wing politician. Daryl Hobson, who organises EDL demonstrations, said Breivik had met members of the group. Another senior member of the EDL said Breivik had been in regular contact with its members via Facebook, and had a “hypnotic” effect on them.
Breivik wrote of having strong links with the EDL, saying he had met its leaders and had 600 EDL members as Facebook friends.
Mr Hobson said in an online posting that: “He had about 150 EDL on his list … bar one or two doubt the rest of us ever met him, altho [sic] he did come over for one of our demo [sic] in 2010 … but what he did was wrong. RIP to all who died as a result of his actions.”
Another senior member of the EDL, who spoke to The Daily Telegraph on condition of anonymity, said he understood Breivik had met EDL leaders when he came to Britain to hear Wilders speak in London last year.
“I spoke to him a few times on Facebook and he is extremely intelligent and articulate and very affable,” said the source. “He is someone who can project himself very well and I presume there would be those within the EDL who would be quite taken by that. It’s like Hitler, people said he was hypnotic. This guy had the same sort of effect.” The source said Breivik began making friend requests with EDL members on Facebook in 2009 and knew “three or four” people in the group.
Breivik told his Facebook friends he would be coming to London for Wilders’s visit. “I remember he [Breivik] was on Facebook saying that he felt he had to come over. Maybe he thought it was the only chance he’d get to come to a big demo,” said the source. “Geert Wilders was a high-profile anti-Islamic politician, coming to Britain. Everyone was raving about it.”
“He [Breivik] was obviously in contact with some of us. If this bloke was coming all the way from Norway the leadership would have wanted to meet him. If there is someone who can put themselves across in an articulate way about the radicalisation and Islamisation of Europe then people at the top of the EDL are very welcoming.”
Another alleged member of the EDL, Katie Hedderick, posted a comment on an online message board that suggested she had come across Breivik. She wrote: “OMG [Oh my God] … HIM?! He wrote some books and did talks didn’t he?”