French arrest Norwegian rocker-activist on terror charges

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French authorities arrested a Norwegian right-wing activist and “black metal” rock singer and his wife, saying he was planning “a major terrorist attack” just days before the second anniversary of Anders Behring Breivik’s mass murders in Norway.

Kristian Vikernes, 40, better known by his stage name, Varg, was arrested at dawn Tuesday at his home in Salon-la-Tour in central France, according to France 24.

The broadcaster reported a statement from French Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who said Mr. Vikernes could have been preparing a “major terrorist act.”

The statement cited that Mr. Vikernes, who has a conviction for manslaughter in Norway, had corresponded with Breivik, who killed 77 people in a bombing and shooting rampage on July 22, 2011.

In a rambling manifesto circulated to sympathizers before his crime, Breivik said his actions were a protest over the “cultural suicide” being forced on Europe by a “multiculturalist” elite in the face of a war waged against the West by Muslims.

“Having received the manifesto before [Breivik] committed his crimes and having been sentenced in Norway in the past for murder, this individual, who was close to a neo-Nazi movement, was likely to prepare a large terrorist act,” Mr. Valls said.

Mr. Vikernes, who was convicted in 1994 of stabbing a rival musician to death in Oslo and served his sentence, had been under surveillance for several years, Mr. Valls said. He was arrested with his French wife, Marie Cachet, 25, after she recently bought four rifles, although she had a legal firearms permit when she bought them, the minister said.

“The investigation will … establish the conditions in which these [rifles] were acquired and their real objective,” Mr. Valls said.

Officers were searching Mr. Vikernes’ home in Correze for weapons and explosives, a police official said.

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About the Author
Shaun Waterman

Shaun Waterman

Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...

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