Dr Matthew Feldman: Slaughter was killer's appetiser. It is the trial that is his main course

The issue of "broadband terrorism" remains virtually unchecked and on the rise among extreme right-wing groups

Share
Related Topics

The heart-stopping events of 22 July 2011 appear to be the work of a far-right ideologue acting alone – Anders Behring Breivik, 32, who bombed central Oslo and shot down children for more than an hour. Every part of this tragedy is astonishing. The carnage of one fanatically driven man. A bombing in the very square used to award the Nobel Peace Prize annually.

Most surprising is this: Friday's atrocities seem to have been of secondary importance to Breivik. The slaughter was a kind of terrorist PR. That is how his rejected request for an open trial should be viewed: a failed attempt to reach a global audience with violent anti-Muslim propaganda. In fact, as claimed in his manifesto: "A trial is an excellent opportunity and a well-suited arena the Justiciar Knight can use to publicly renounce the authority of the EUSSR/USASSR hegemony and the specific cultural Marxist/multi-culturalist regime."

All his actions seem to have been done to publicise his 12-minute video and 1,516 page manifesto, "2083: A European Declaration of Independence". Comprising years of work by a lucid – if violent and racist – mind, it predicts that following a European Civil War there will be a "third" Muslim expulsion completed in Europe by 2083.

But there is another threat. It is not his self-styled "cultural Christianity": this is no more to Christianity than jihadi Islamism is to Islam. No, this is quite simply crusading "Christianism". The danger is one of "broadband terrorism" – using online space to organise an offline terrorist attack. For the manifesto contains a terrorist's DIY kit – how to build bombs, operate weapons and so on. In this, it is similar to a number of terrorist manuals, easily available online.

A case in which I testified last year showed how far this can go: a British, extreme right-wing terrorist, Ian Davison, bought and prepared ricin, a WMD of the sort we invaded Iraq for. He was the first person convicted under Britain's 1996 Chemical Weapons Act, and shows just how dark the internet can be.

Beyond the incitement to hatred, the issue of "broadband terrorism" remains virtually unchecked and on the rise among extreme right-wing groups. This is an urgent issue, in Britain as well as Europe. We need to ask ourselves seriously, for this issue is only going to become worse with time: what are we going to do about broadband terrorism?

Dr Matthew Feldman is Director of the Radicalism and New Media Group at the University of Northampton

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sheridan Maine: Accounts Assistant

£30,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a perso...

Sheridan Maine: Accounts Payable Clerk

£21,000 - £24,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: Are you looking for a new opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Regional Sales Manager - East Region - OTE £45,000

£30000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Sheridan Maine: Finance Manager

£55,000 - £65,000 Annual: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accountant with ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting the patriarchy with my breasts

Björt Ólafsdóttir
 

Daily catch-up: opening round in the election contest of the YouTube videos

John Rentoul
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor