Political idol of Norwegian assassin distances himself from the attacks
Today the funeral is taking place in Norway of the step-brother of Crown Princess Mette-Marit, one of the victims of the 22 July massacre there. Norwegian assassin Anders Behring Breivik has claimed he was inspired to murder 77 people by the anti-Islamic opinions of someone writing under the nickname "Fjordman". Yesterday this author revealed his identity and definitively distanced himself from the attacks committed by his disciple.
"Fjordman" is said to have refused to meet with Breivik in the past because he had seemed as "boring as a vacuum cleaner salesman". Peder Jensen (36) of Alesund, a very prolific blogger publishing under the "Fjordman" moniker on various ultra-right websites, is mentioned in Breivik's 1 500- page manifesto as his "favorite contemporary author" and is allegedly quoted there 111 times.
"Fjordman" captivated Breivik to such an extent that the assassin wrote him several e-mails requesting a personal meeting in 2009 and 2010. Jensen refused those requests.
"I don't know why he was interested, but I turned him down - not because of his extremist opinions, but because he seemed as boring as a vacuum cleaner salesman," the blogger explained. Jensen decided to reveal his identity this week and his photograph has been printed by the Norwegian daily Verdens Gang.
Police interrogated Jensen, who majored in cultural studies and technology at university in Oslo, for several hours yesterday regarding his presumed contacts with Breivik. Jensen, who is of modest appearance and has decided to go into hiding for a while under the circumstances, is said to have expressed alarm that he had such an influence on Breivik.
Jensen also attended Arabic studies at the university in Bergen and the American University in Cairo and wrote his dissertation on blogging and censorship in Iran. He stated that he has never been a member of any political party, has never touched a weapon after completing military service, and will not use the nickname "Fjordman" in the future. "I do not want to be connected with Breivik and his horrible crimes," he said.
The attacks in which Breivik exploded a car bomb in the center of Oslo and then shot people on Utöya Island killed at least 77 people, including members of the Norwegian royal family. One of the tragic heroes of the massacre on Utöya was the stepbrother of Norwegian Crown Princess Mette-Marit, a 51-year-old police officer named Trond Berntsen. His funeral will take place today in the church in the small town of Haug.
Norwegian daily Dagbladet reports that Berntsen was working as a security guard on Utöya Island. When he attempted to stop the terrorist, he was shot to death. The Princess, with tears in her eyes, attended the July memorial service for her brother and the other victims, as well as the subsequent rose parade, during which as many as 200 000 people bearing roses flooded the center of Oslo. She will apparently not attend the burial today, according to Dagbladet.