English Defence League admits members met 'hypnotic' killer
Published 26/07/2011 | 07:26
ANDERS BEHRING BREIVIK had extensive links to the far-Right English Defence League, senior members of the group admitted yesterday.
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, who told police there were "two more cells" ready to follow him, 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.
Scotland Yard was investigating Breivik's claims that he began his deadly "crusade" after being recruited to a secret society in London, and that he was guided by an English "mentor". British Prime Minister David Cameron, said Breivik's claims were being taken "extremely seriously".
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."
Another senior member of the EDL, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he understood Breivik had met EDL leaders when he came to Britain to hear Wilders speak last year.
"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.
Breivik told his Facebook friends he would be coming to London for Wilders's visit. "Geert Wilders was a high-profile anti-Islamic politician, coming to Britain. Every-one 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," said the source.
Breivik compiled a 1,518-page manifesto, written entirely in English under his Anglicised name, Andrew Berwick, in which he made repeated references to his British links.
"I used to have more than 600 EDL members as Facebook friends and have spoken with tens of EDL members and leaders," he wrote.
He also suggested that one of two English extremists who attended a founding meeting of the Knights Templar in London in April 2002 might have been a member of the EDL. "I wonder sometimes if one of the EDL founders was one of the co-founders of PCCTS," he wrote.
Breivik also wrote about an English "mentor" he named only as "Richard".
The EDL had stated on its website that it had no links to Breivik. Stephen Lennon, the leader of the group, was unavailable for comment, but the EDL said journalists could attend a press conference with him today if they paid a £50 (€56) fee. (© Daily Telegraph, London)