The Sunday Times have formally investigated the English Defence League’s backers and have confirmed that two key individuals in particular are involved. You can read the full article here. A few extracts:
A property tycoon and a City-based financier quizzed by police over his links to the gunman who slaughtered 69 people in Norway are exposed today as key figures behind the rise of the far-right English Defence League (EDL).
A Sunday Times investigation has revealed that Ann Marchini, a mother from Highgate, north London, and Alan Ayling, a former director of an investment fund, have sought to mould the thuggish anti-Muslim group into a credible political force. They are both linked to the murky world of the online “counter-jihad” movement from which Anders Behring Breivik drew ideological inspiration before committing his massacre in Norway in July. They have remained in the shadows until now by using aliases on the internet to mask their true identities.
…..Marchini, who is thought to be in her fifties, runs a buy-to-let property empire from her £1.6m mock-Tudor home in Highgate, a leafy suburb usually associated with liberals…..She is said to have helped organise a “pivotal” meeting between EDL figures and anti-jihad thinkers in July 2009 and recently attended a discussion where the EDL agreed to consider an electoral pact with the right-wing British Freedom party (BFP).
…..Ayling, 57, has been operating under the alias “Alan Lake”. He is an IT expert and was a director of Pacific Capital Investment Management until January this year. The fund was dissolved in August. Last month Ayling was interviewed by officers from Scotland Yard at the behest of Norwegian police who were investigating whether he was a possible “mentor” of Breivik. Paal-Fredrik Kraby, an Oslo police prosecutor, confirmed that “the man known as Alan Lake” had been questioned.
…..In an interview with a Norwegian newspaper nine days ago, Lake denied having any contact with Breivik. However, he admitted to having met a prolific anti-Islam blogger called “Fjordman”. “People ought to read him, he is good,” Lake said. Breivik named Fjordman 111 times in his manifesto.
1. Alan Ayling aka “Alan Lake”:
· A formal investigation by The Guardian during the summer confirmed that Ayling/Lake was the author of a “Final Solution” blueprint targeting the entire British Muslim population along with anyone perceived to be sympathetic towards them, including death threats against British PM David Cameron, Deputy PM Nick Clegg and the Archbishop of Canterbury (screenshots here and here).
· Channel 4 News described Ayling as “the EDL’s chief financier” during their investigation of the EDL’s connections with Anders Breivik. Video footage is available of Ayling attending a meeting in London with senior EDL leaders including Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka “Tommy Robinson”), in a video released on 20 March 2011.
· Ayling has been instrumental in facilitating the EDL’s alliances with Far-Right groups outside the UK. He has also worked closely with Yaxley-Lennon, and played a pivotal role in facilitating the EDL leadership’s links to the American anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Geller (who was cited multiple times in Breivik’s manifesto). Full details, along with an overview of Ayling’s background, affiliations and activities to further the EDL’s agenda can be read here.
2. British Freedom Party leader Paul Weston:
· Ann Marchini is a friend of Weston, and is believed to have played a major role in facilitating the formal alliance between the EDL and the BFP.
· The nature of the BFP as an extreme Far-Right party is particularly evident when you read the views of its leader. Weston’s article “The ethnic cleansing of the English” was published on his own website; you can also read Weston’s rambling diatribe in full here. The article is openly racist. The contents are also noticeable for repeatedly implying that anyone non-white is Muslim; considering that Weston’s writings explicitly demonise Muslims en masse, you can draw your own conclusions. You will also notice the article’s similarities to the EDL’s recent public statement finally admitting that their agenda is racially-motivated.
· Weston has also regularly written articles for the virulently anti-Muslim website “Gates of Vienna” (including cross-publishing the aforementioned article there). Weston himself appears to take no responsibility for the poisonous influence of such propaganda, despite the fact that this website was cited 86 times in Breivik’s manifesto. Instead, in an article promoted by the EDL on their main website, Weston bizarrely blamed Jeremy Paxman, the BBC and “the entire political/liberal left” for Breivik’s mass-murdering actions and any similar future atrocities. More details here.
3. Other developments:
· An EDL member was arrested on Monday after he repeatedly made online threats claiming that he’d planted a bomb in Birmingham’s main mosque.
· Another EDL member has been arrested after he made online bomb threats against a Hindu temple in the West Midlands.
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Filed in: EDL,Race politics,Terrorism