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News 25 Jul 11

NATO Attack on Serbia Set Off Norwegian Bomber

Norway bomber Anders Behring Breivik revered Radovan Karadzic as 'a hero' for his war on Bosnian Muslims and says NATO's bombing of Serbia on behalf of Muslim Kosovars 'tipped the scales' for him, prompting him to action.

Bojana Barlovac
Belgrade

The 32-year-old Norwegian, who has confessed to last Friday's bombing of government headquarters in Oslo and the mass shooting at an island camp - which killed 93 people - says events in the Balkans played a significant role in strengthening his resolve to carry out a massacre.

On the day of mass shootings and bombing, Breivik released online a 1,500-page manifesto of his extreme nationalist philosophy, which suggested that he intended to use his atrocity as a platform to espouse his type of extreme anti-immigrant politics.

In the manifesto he described NATO's bombing of Serbia in 1999 as the point that "tipped the scales", driving him to action; he strongly sympathised with Serbia's bloody crackdown on the mainly Muslim Albanians in Kosovo.

It took him about a year from that to realise that "the Islamisation of Europe", as he said, could no longer be stopped by peaceful means.

The bomber was enraged by the fact that the NATO military attack, of which Norway was part, was targeting "our Serbian brothers who wanted to drive Islam out by deporting the Albanian Muslims back to Albania," he wrote.

"For me personally it was our government’s involvement (engagement) with/in the attack on Serbia several years ago. It was completely unacceptable the way the US and Western European regimes bombed our Serbian brothers," he wrote. "There have been many other cases that have strengthened my resolve [to carry out the bombing]," he added.

The bomber went on to describe his admiration for Radovan Karadzic, the wartime Bosnian Serb leader who is on trial in The Hague facing charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of the laws and customs of war in Bosnia during the 1992-1995 war. He is among those persons the Norwegian would most like to meet.

Breivik denies that Karadzic was "a mass murderer and a racist," as his accusers call him. "Because of the efforts to free Serbia of Islam, he will always be regarded and remembered as a revered crusade warrior and a European war hero," he wrote.

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Norway’s Bomber Should Leave the Balkans Alone

Breivik is only the latest extreme rightist to project his pet theories about the world onto a region about which he knows precious little.