April is a dangerous month.
As Anders Breivik, the far-right Norwegian singularly responsible for the massacre of 77 people begins his trial it is perhaps astounding that it has gone ahead at such a symbolic time; symbolism that Breivik has wasted no time in exploiting. This morning in court Breivik gave a chilling Nazi salute known among this secretive fraternity as a 'Roman' salute that recognises his followers, revealing the showmanship with which Breivik now conducts himself.
As April the 19th and 20th approaches I am reminded of the Oklahoma bombings, orchestrated by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols killing 168.
McVeigh had expressed anger at the US governments handling of previous far-right extremism in an event known as 'Ruby Ridge' (1992) and also 'Waco' on April 19th 1993 killing 76.
All of the above attacks were articulated as being against the state, a response to the government tolerance of racial integration between blacks and whites.
However, the Breivik case evidences clearly, how this phenomena has transgressed racial divides and is now centred on religiosity, which as always played a part but previously was difficult to argue given the pious nature of many black communities in America.
Now, in the light of increasing Islamaphobic discourse and the clear blue skies between extremist white supremacists and extremist Muslims Breivik has found a natural partner.
Breivik is the security services worst nightmare, a 'lone wolf' operative, invisible among the milieu of disenchantment with government, immigration, multi-multiculturalism and difference; and maybe therin lieth the problem. The general public have, over the last decade, undergone a public education in vigilance, in looking for potential Islamic fundamentalist terrorism.
How many of us though know anything about the extremism in far-right organisations and the individuals who support them?
How do we remain vigilant of their violent ambitions? Certainly the victims of Breivik and Waco didn't see it coming and we today, have no clue how to protect ourselves from this enemy, the enemy that no amount of curtailment of immigration nor changes to foreign policy can satisfy.
This is a significant concern for our national security. We have all been taught to look in the other direction, towards violent Islamic extremism and quite rightly; our security is intelligence led so we must retain a focus on this. However, we need more training and discussion on the politics of the far-right and how we can avoid becoming victims of their extremist plans and how we can as a nation help to bring them to justice through vigilance and determination to ensure the safety of our citizens no matter their colour or religion.
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