UK

Norway massacre: Gunman 'wanted to join EDL rally'

Anders Behring Breivik leaves court, 25 July
Image caption Mr Breivik called the EDL a "blessing", according to Searchlight

Norway gunman Anders Behring Breivik wrote of his desire to join English Defence League demos, it has emerged.

The 32-year-old posted on EDL web forums that he wanted to fly the Norwegian flag at a rally, according to the anti-fascist group Searchlight.

Mr Breivik admits carrying out attacks in Norway which left 76 people dead.

EDL leader Stephen Lennon, who says his group condemns violence, said he did not believe Mr Breivik had joined any of the group's demos.

Mr Lennon, also known as Tommy Robinson, quoted the Norwegian criticising the EDL in his manifesto as "naive fools... that still believe the democratic system can solve Britain's problems".

Mr Breivik's lawyer Geir Lippestad said on Tuesday that his client had claimed to know of two anti-Islam "cells" operating in Norway and several abroad.

However, Mr Lippestad said Mr Breivik had not said anything about his links to Britain.

Police in the UK are examining what connections he may have had after he claimed in his manifesto to have been recruited by two English extremists at a meeting in London in April 2002 attended by a total of eight people.

'Little trip'

He signed the document, in which he claimed to have more than 600 EDL members as Facebook friends, with an anglicised version of his name - Andrew Berwick - and it was datelined "London, 2011".

Searchlight says the gunman used the internet to express his admiration for the EDL, which protests against what it calls the Islamification of British society.

It listed his posts as they appeared on the EDL forums.

One said: "i've seen with my own eyes what has happened to england, i was in bradford some years ago, me and a friend walked down to the football stadium of bradford, real 'nice' neighborhood, same thing in the suburbs of london.

"well thinking about taking a little trip over the sea and join you in a demo. would be nice with a norwegian flag alongside with union jack or the english flag, that is if a norwegian would be welcome offcourse?"

Searchlight say that in another post, dated 9 March 2011, he wrote: "Hello. To you all good English men and women, just wanted to say that you're a blessing to all in Europe, in these dark times all of Europe are looking to you in surch of inspiration, courage and even hope that we might turn this evil trend with islamisation all across our continent.

"Well, just wanted to say keep up the good work it's good to see others that care about their country and heritage. All the best to you all Sigurd."

The group says he was using the pseudonym Sigurd Jorsalfare, after the 12th century King of Norway.