A compilation of continuing developments focusing on the English Defence League’s public response to the atrocity along with Breivik’s own connections to the EDL :
1. Fresh from his court appearance during which he was convicted of leading a violent brawl involving 100 football supporters, EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka “Tommy Robinson”) was interviewed by Becky Anderson on CNN’s “Connect the World” programme on Monday evening. The anchor noticed what appeared to be a threat at the end of the interview and challenged Yaxley-Lennon about it. The full transcript of the CNN interview (link provided above) also includes the observations of a former Neo-Nazi who was interviewed immediately after Yaxley-Lennon, both in relation to the massacre in Norway and his damning response to Yaxley-Lennon’s own anti-Islam assertions on behalf of the EDL, especially the close parallels with historical Far-Right bigotry towards Jews.
2. Yaxley-Lennon was interviewed in further detail by Jeremy Paxman on BBC’s Newsnight later on Monday evening. Along with refusing to answer most of Paxman’s questions, Yaxley-Lennon recited almost exactly the same memorised statements that he’d made on CNN, from his “words of condolence” at the beginning to what appeared to be a threat at the end. He became increasingly belligerent and aggressive as the interview progressed, and by the end he was loudly ranting. Paxman also noticed the “threat” and challenged Yaxley-Lennon about it.
· Furthermore, Yaxley-Lennon told Paxman that he does not know Daryl Hobson, despite the fact that Hobson is one of the EDL’s main organisers. A photo of Yaxley-Lennon with Hobson is displayed at the top of this PP article (via Hope Not Hate/Searchlight). Hobson himself has also confirmed that the terrorist Anders Breivik was in contact with the EDL.
· Yaxley-Lennon also told Paxman that the millionaire businessman Alan Lake does not finance the EDL, despite the fact that Lake himself has now publicly admitted to funding the organisation. A detailed profile of Lake can be read via Hope Not Hate/Searchlight here, including details of Lake’s extensive involvement with the EDL and the scale of his international activities to further their agenda.
3. Yaxley-Lennon was interviewed by 3 Counties Radio on Tuesday. It was a complete disaster for him; the interviewer tore Yaxley-Lennon apart despite his attempts to hijack the interview. The interviewer particularly jumped on the “threat” he’d made on Newsnight, and subsequently demolished him in forensic detail. You can read a full transcript here. It includes numerous screenshots and photographic evidence completely contradicting Yaxley-Lennon’s disingenuous claims about the EDL in his ongoing public interviews. The article is exhaustively researched and readers are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with it.
4. Yaxley-Lennon was also interviewed by Adrian Chiles on ITV’s Daybreak programme. Yaxley-Lennon mentioned the EDL’s official “Jewish Division” in an attempt to demonstrate the EDL’s anti-racist credentials. Unfortunately for him, the current leader of that division is now on record as publicly describing the teenagers killed by Breivik as “scum”. Full details here, including a screenshot and a summary of the background & activities of the so-called “Jewish” individual involved. The leadership of the “Jewish Division” has links to US-based convicted terrorists who are banned from Israel and whose organisation is officially classified by the FBI as a terrorist group (as previously discussed on Pickled Politics here). The same article also includes a transcript of Yaxley-Lennon falsely claiming on Newsnight that he doesn’t know EDL senior organiser Daryl Hobson, including a link to the aforementioned photographic evidence unearthed by Hope Not Hate/Searchlight.
5. A CNN article detailing Breivik’s admiration for some very well-known virulently anti-Muslim blogs, including Robert Spencer’s JihadWatch, Pamela Geller’s Atlas Shrugs, The Religion Of Peace and Gates of Vienna. The response from some of the bloggers involved is also typically twisted and malicious; they disingenuously distance themselves from any responsibility for the massacre whilst predictably blaming Muslims for this tragedy too. The New York Times also has a detailed article discussing the American bloggers concerned and their poisonous influence on Breivik.
6. A brilliant article about Breivik and the EDL from the New Yorker. As the article mentions, the key term in the EDL’s public statement about the massacre is that they did not have any “official” contact with Breivik. Ah, but “unofficial” contact….that could of course be a very different matter. Stephen Yaxley-Lennon was interviewed by the author and, once again, he recited some of the same rehearsed statements he’s repeatedly been making in other interviews during the past week.
7. It turns out the British police’s domestic extremism officers are now formally investigating one of the most well-known figures associated with the EDL, the author of the “Lionheart” blog (real name: Paul Ray), who was one of the EDL’s main founders and describes himself as a Christian fundamentalist. Via his virulently anti-Muslim website, he had been publicly calling for the resurrection of the Knights Templar and has echoed exactly the same kind of rhetoric that Breivik has promoted. Breivik himself has described his mentor as an English individual using the alias “Richard” (after Richard the Lionheart) and whom he believes to be affiliated with what is now the EDL. More info via the Telegraph. For his part, Ray is openly claiming on his blog that the person Breivik describes as his “perfect knight” is none other than EDL financier Alan Lake.
8. To make matters even worse for the EDL, it turns out that Breivik emailed his manifesto to 250 British contacts less than 90 minutes before he started his attack. He sent it to people in other countries too, but apparently the largest number of recipients were here in the UK. Full details, plus more information about Breivik’s links to the EDL, via The Guardian.
9. More details about the recipients of Breivik’s manifesto are continuing to come to light. They include senior activists in the EDL and the BNP, such as:
· EDL organiser Daryl Hobson, displayed at the top of this PP article with EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon.
· BNP activist Jeff Marshall, the party’s London organiser during the European elections. Marshall’s Facebook page linked to the “Knights Templar Europe” page until this week; he removed the link shortly after he was tracked down by journalists from The Sun. “Knights Templar Europe” is the Christian fundamentalist & anti-Muslim group Breivik has claimed he was involved in founding in 2002.
10. The Evening Standard has an excellent article detailing Breivik’s online posts to the EDL praising the organisation. It also discusses reports of Breivik’s attendance at several EDL demonstrations last year along with his meeting with EDL leaders.
11. Hope Not Hate have some more detailed quotes of Breivik’s communications to the EDL (he received a positive response from them) along with details of his support of the Norwegian Defence League and the NDL’s connections to the EDL. In fact, the NDL’s Facebook page is administered by a leading EDL organiser. Channel 4 News have also uncovered further details of the EDL’s direct control of the NDL, including the NDL’s leadership; furthermore, it turns out that EDL financier Alan Lake was interviewed on Norwegian television in April 2011.
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Filed in: EDL,Muslim,Race politics,Religion,Terrorism