Swedish Terrorist Suspects Were Reportedly Influenced By Anders Breivik

Anders Behring Breivik

Two Swedish men arrested for the attempted murder of two South Asian men reportedly gained inspiration for their attacks from Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Brevik.

The Local — a Swedish English language news website — reports that four days after Breivik’s attacks in Oslo and Utøya, a South Asian man sleeping on a bench in Västerås, a city in central Sweden, was attacked and seriously injured. In a second attack, two days later, a Sri Lankan man was stabbed while delivering newspapers.

Police reports obtained by the Dagens Nyheter daily and translated by the Local, say that one of the defendants sent the other attacker the following text message shortly after Breivik’s massacre on July 22:

A Norwegian ‘Nazi’ has killed like, around 84! From the left who, like, cheered on Islam. HAHAHA!! WHITE POWER!

The accused attacker reportedly screamed “Go home” and drew a swastika on the Sri Lankan man’s bag after stabbing him.

While the two suspects may have been motivated by a broader white supremacist ideology, Breivik appears to have served as an inspiration for them in their decision to attack South Asians. The text message indicates that they shared the same anger with left wing politics, and its supposed embrace of Muslim immigrants.

Both Sweden and Norway have growing white supremacist movements, but U.S. Islamophobes and European white supremacists appear to have found common ground in stoking fears about Muslim immigration into Europe. Indeed, Anders Breivik cited U.S. “counterjihad” bloggers, such as Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, numerous times in his manifesto.

While European white supremacists have been implicated in hate crimes against numerous ethnic and religious minorities, the growing uptick in European Islamophobia is shedding new light on the overlapping ideologies of anti-Muslim advocates and white supremacists.

For more information on Breivik and his manifesto’s references to American Islamophobes, see the Guardian’s visualization of his citations and the Center for American Progress’ new report, Fear Inc.