Der Spiegel has an account of the ideological roots and political networks from which Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivek was influenced:
Such blogs provide a window into a strange scene: pro-Western, exceedingly pro-American and friendly to Israel — but extremely anti-Muslim, aggressively Christian and openly hostile to everything which is liberal, leftist, multi-cultural or internationalist. It is a “patriotic-nationalist” scene which detests the Nazis but is sympathetic — to the point of maintaining informal contacts — to the Tea Party Movement in the US, to the right-wing populist Freedom Party of Austria, to the right-wing football fan group known as the Casuals and to the stridently anti-Muslim English Defence League.
It is a scene which is considered to be militant and ultra-right wing, but which has in the past cooperated with the Jewish Defense League (JDL), a group which has been branded a terrorist organization in the US. Such a connection would be unthinkable for neo-Nazi groups. Indeed, the JDL has even joined demonstrations held by the English Defence League — a surprising alliance perhaps, but the crossover is clear: Islam is the enemy.
A central tenant of the writings coming out of this scene is that Muslims are currently in the process of taking over Europe with a “demographic Jihad.” They use statistics, historical references and precarious prognostications in an effort to feed the extreme right with an intellectual-sounding foundation for their hatred of foreigners. The scene is extremely well networked and growing rapidly.
There is also this NYT’s piece on the small group of American bloggers and writers, including Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch, who spew this kind of rhetoric and were also read frequently by Breivek. I won’t go as far as to say that the right-wing, nativist, pro-war nationalism of these blogs and groups are what caused Breivek to commit these acts. Clearly, there is much more that goes into what drives such a maniac to that point. Still, throughout the American political spectrum this kind of ideological make-up is among the most hardline, perverse, and immune to penetrating criticism (or more precisely, more immune than most). It requires an understanding of these issues that is based on fear and an active effort to ignore basic facts like Islamist terrorism’s fundamental motivations, the relatively low and actually declining threat of Islamic terrorism, or the significant economic benefits more open immigration policies elicit. It is the opposite of sober analysis and to a certain extent justifies horrible policies of the state and perpetuates ignorant perceptions of Muslims and war policy. This is a long way of saying that I don’t think it should be considered out of line, as some have put forth (see Times link), to address the apparently real influence this kind of ideology and rhetoric had on Breivek, and has on many others who will never act out violently.
Most of Geller and Spencer’s blogging consists of attempts to tar all Muslims with the responsibility for terrorism. At CPAC last year, Geller and Spencer drew a large crowd for their documentary referring to the proposed community center near Ground Zero as “the second wave of the 9/11 attacks.” Yet they’re now pleading for the world not to do what they’ve spent their careers doing — assigning collective blame for an act of terror through guilt-by-association. What’s clear is that they understand that the principle of collective responsibility is a monstrous wrong in the abstract, or at least when it’s applied to them. They are now begging for the kind of tolerance and understanding they cheerfully refuse to grant to American Muslims.