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Norway attacks: The Breivik-McVeigh connection [Most commented]

July 28, 2011 |  2:17 pm

A memorial made for victims near Utoya island. It is clear from Anders Behring Breivik's attacks in Norway that he was familiar with terrorism attacks in the United States -- namely, Timothy McVeigh's 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, wrote Andrew Gumbel, an author working on a book about the U.S. bombing, in an Op-Ed Thursday. Both men had Glock semiautomatics and .223-caliber Ruger assault rifles, and both used the same farm fertilizing compound, ammonium nitrate, to construct their respective bombs. McVeigh's bombing generated disgust in America and ended the U.S. militia movement, Gumbel wrote; Norway will probably have a similar reaction.

Such similarities of weaponry and methods are common among hard-right revolutionaries who tend to read the same pamphlets and books and frequent the same websites. The literature they share tends to fetishize military hardware and to speak reverently of the history of each piece of weaponry. […]

Norway in 2011 might bear some superficial similarities to Oklahoma in 1995. Both were regarded as peaceful, safe places that were unlikely targets for terrorist attacks. But there were also differences. Breivik discusses in his 1,500-page Unabomber-style manifesto how much more difficult it was for him to assemble bomb materials than it was in the America of the mid-1990s. "Times are changing and the possibilities which were available to us during the time of Mr. Timothy McVeigh are no longer present," he wrote.

Readers on the discussion board see less of a connection between the two men.

The media are going out of their way to connect Islamic terrorism with Christian conservatives

Typically, the liberal media, who is often at pains to describe an Islamic terrorism as "muslim", is now going out of its way to connect crazies like McVeigh and Breivik with mainstream Christian conservatives who have no intentions of violence or hatred toward others and are by and large a peaceful people.

How's the re-election campaign for your Messiah Obama going, LA Times?

--xerox0001

It's only a matter of time before this happens in the U.S.

Breivik's manifesto reveals that he got his neo-nazi ideas from Fox News, the Tea Party, and right wing ideologues in America. It's only a matter of time before this happens here, too.

Just looking at the comments on stories about him, you can find many unstable people with views identical to his.

--thomasmc

Maybe he carried those guns because they're popular weapons

"Andrew Gumbel, a Los Angeles-based journalist, is writing a book about the Oklahoma City bombing, due out from William Morrow next April." Isn't "journalism" supposed to involve some kind of critical reasoning?  Maybe this guy [carried a] Glock because Tim McVeigh carried a Glock, or maybe he did because it's probably the most popular handgun on the planet, and used by most of the world's police and military organizations. And the Ruger rifle? It's a popular rifle around the world because it's widely recognized as a good value.

So we have established this Norwegian extremist read up on weapons before he bought them. Wow. We've also established the author thinks owning the same kind of pistol makes for equivalent political ideology. If he brings the same kind of reasoning to his books, he should probably focus on ancient astronauts, crystal skulls and the Mayan Solar Calendar.

--More to the Story

Conservative white people can be terrorists too

It's funny how conservatives think only brown people and Muslims can be terrorists, and deny what's right in front of them: Conservative white people can be terrorists too. And, in the US, are more likely to be terrorists than Muslims are (simply because there are a lot more white militants).

--pj.evans88

Blame the anti-gun laws for these deaths

Anti-gun laws are solely responsible for so many deaths in Norway. Once again....liberalism kills.

--Nolibs

The media are at fault for overplaying this

And who is responsible for the overplay of these incidents that only seem to inspire others?  Hint:  it starts with M and ends with e-d-i-a. 

--TimBowman

Their ideologies weren't connected

The author's book will end up in the trash heap of liberal ideology. The weapons connections are so outlandish that all his other analysis become highly questionable. McVeigh blew up the FBI building because of the FBI raid and killings in Waco, Texas. Brevik is claiming his killings were to motivate a European revolution against Muslims. Not exactly ideologically connected.

--outdoor guy

*Spelling errors in the above comments were corrected.

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--Samantha Schaefer

Photo: A youth in Norway looks at flowers and tributes left for the victims in Sundvollen, close to Utoya island, background. Credit: Lefteris Pitarakis / Associated Press

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