The Norwegian man who has confessed to killing 77 people was not a “lone wolf,” a British far-right activist thought to be the gunman’s “mentor” said on Thursday after being interviewed by Norwegian police.
Paul Ray, a blogger and former member of the English Defence League, told Norway’s NTB news agency that police were “very interested” in British far-right cells mentioned by the attacker, Anders Behring Breivik.
“I don’t believe Breivik is a lone wolf ... he is part of a larger movement which has its own agenda,” Ray said, without going into detail.
“They [the police] were very interested in the British cells,” Ray said. “They asked me if I was [head of] a cell.”
In a statement he released shortly before embarking on his July 22 killing spree, Behring Breivik had spoken of the existence of secret cells that he said came under a new order of Knights Templar.
Ray, who lives in Malta, came to Norway voluntarily to speak to police investigating the twin attacks in Oslo and a nearby island.
He is widely considered to be the unnamed “mentor” mentioned by the 32-year-old Behring Breivik in the 1,500-page manifesto he posted online shortly before carrying out the attacks.
Describing himself as a crusader at war against multiculturalism and Islam, Behring Breivik explained in the document that he once had “a relatively close relationship” with an Englishman he gave the pseudonym “Richard,” “who became my mentor.”
Ray, who heads the “Knights Templar” movement and runs a “Richard the Lionhearted” blog, has said he recognized himself in the right-wing extremist’s description.
Asked in an interview on Wednesday with Norway’s NRK TV station if he had any contact with Behring Breivik, including online, Ray said “never.” Ray has called the July 22 attacks “pure evil” in an interview with the Times.
Behring Breivik has confessed to setting off a bomb outside government offices in Oslo that killed eight people, before going on a shooting rampage on the nearby island of Utoeya, killing 69 others, many of them teenagers.