Posts Tagged ‘Håvard Krane’
(For a timeline of the events reported in this post, see bottom of post.)
On Sunday, the Norwegian newspaper, Dagbladet, reported claims that the Norwegian Defence League (NDL) was infiltrated for an extended period of time by members of the leftist organization, SOS Racism (SOS Rasisme).
The NDL became widely known to the Norwegian public after Janne Kristiansen, former head of the Police Security Service (PST), warned about the establishment of the group at the annual PST press conference on February 28, 2011. The day before the press conference, police sources had told VG that operative units of the police had, for a couple of weeks, been focusing on a new threat, and that it could be just a matter of time before the situation exploded.
The current leader of the NDL, Ronny Alte, has told Nettavisen that Breivik had some online contact with the NDL in February 2011, before the PST press conference, using the moniker “Sigurd Jorsalfar,” the name of the twelfth-century crusader, King Sigurd I of Norway. The left-wing magazine, Searchlight, has reported that around the same time Breivik also posted on a forum operated by the English Defence League (EDL) using the same moniker. According to Searchlight, on March 9, 2011, Breivik wrote the following:
“Do some of you know the truth about what happened to the ndl [Norwegian Defence League], there was some claims that neo-nazis had hijacked the organisation, but on the ndl site i cant really say i noticed anything like that. So my guess is that there were some kind of police pressure to stop the movement. Anyone here heard anything?”
A new version of NDL
On February 26, 2011, two days before the abovementioned PST press conference, a new NDL website was set up and the organization changed name to the Norwegian Defence Alliance (Norsk Forsvars Allianse). The Norwegian Defence League had announced plans for a demonstration in front of the Oslo Cathedral (Domkirke) on February 26, 2011, but these plans appear to have been interrupted and the demonstration never took place. Klassekampen reported on February 19, 2011, that the leftist Anti-Racist Center (Antirasistisk Senter) and several other organizations had planned a counter demonstration. In the same Klassekampen article, Remi Huseby, the then leader of the NDL, stated that after being interviewed by the Norwegian press for the first time (TV2 filming in Luton, published February 5, 2011), he had received several death threats and had, therefore, purchased a bulletproof vest.
On March 1, 2011, the day after the PST press conference, Remi Huseby announced his withdrawal as leader of the NDL. Håvar Krane took over the leadership. On March 13, 2011, VG wrote that the original (WordPress) website of the NDL was closed down after the PST press conference on February 28th, however the first post on the new (Blogspot) website is cleary dated February 26th.
The EDL appears to have accepted Håvar Krane as an interim leader:
“For the time being and up untill the planned election of new leadership on the 9th of April, Haavar Krane will function as the officially recognised spokesman and leader of the Norwegian Defence League endorsed by the EDL.
We wish Haavar Krane all the best in the work ahead, in building up a genuine Nowegian Defence League.
The following has been agreed with Haavar
1) He will do this until a new leader is elected.
2) That NDL get approval from EDL to continue on this, EDL has now approved this
3) He chooses for the time being his/NDLs own security and liason division
4) When all the new leaders are elected he is out and into the background…”
Three weeks later on March 19, 2011, Lena Andreassen replaced him as leader of NDL.
On April 9, 2011, one month after the February 28th PST press conference, and while reportedly heavily infiltrated by members of SOS Racism, the new version of the Norwegian Defence League held a demonstration in Oslo that was a complete failure. According to the recent Dagbladet article, infiltrators from SOS Racism were directly involved with the planning of this unsuccesssful (NDL) demonstration to which only a handful of NDL supporters turned up.
The Norwegian press has a strong left-wing bias and so does not typically give much press coverage to right-wing organizations and events. For example, not a single Norwegian newspaper has written about the upcoming gathering of European Defence Leagues in Aarhus, Denmark, on March 31, 2012. The staged NDL demonstration on April 9th, however, received massive coverage by all Norwegian television stations and newspapers. It is possible that some in the media may have known beforehand that the demonstration was going to be a failure, and may have been collaborating with those working to sabotage the NDL.
The entire press also gave extensive coverage to the large counter demonstration attended by various leftist groups including the Anti-Racist Center, the Oslo Labor Youth Organization (AUF), Blitz, Oslo Socialist Youth (Oslo SU), The Red Pary (Rødt), Red Youth (Rød ungdom), UFFA (anarchist group), Motmakt (anti-capitalistic organization), Young Communists (UngKom) and SOS Racism. It is unclear who orchestrated the counter demonstration, but a Facebook group and blog appear to have been created for the purpose.
On April 9th, Dagbladet wrote that Lena Andreassen attended the demonstraton virtually alone and said: “Darn, there are more journalists here than us.” Dagbladet estimated that between 700 and 1000 people attended the counter demonstration, and printed a photo showing a large crowd of leftists. In this week’s article however, Dagbladet only mentions that 30 SOS Racism members held a counter demonstration against the NDL, painting a very different picture of what happened that day.
After the failed demonstration on April 9th, the English Defence League withdrew support from the NDL, and the leaders of the organization, including Lena Andreassen and Håvar Krane, had to quit.
Darren Lee from the EDL had come to Oslo to see what was going on and had a meeting with several Norwegians after the demonstration. “We were informed that a change of leadership was desired and our leader said that we will support them [the new leadership] with everything necessary going foreward,” Lee told Dagbladet. “We seem to have supported the wrong leadership previously,” Lee also said to the newspaper.
In a message on Facebook, Tommy Robinson, head of the English Defence League, wrote the following:
“This is a message from Tommy Robinson of the English Defence League. After careful consideration and a lengthy investigation by our support group we have decided that we have no alternative but to declare a show of no-confidence in the current leadership and administration of the Norwegian Defence League.
We will no longer affiliate with, or support this version of the NDL….”
Left-wing and possible police infiltration
In this week’s article, Dagbladet, relying only on anonymous sources, claims that members of SOS Racism had infiltrated the Norwegian Defence League and secured leadership positions in the organization. The newspaper does not discuss whether these people acted as informants for the PST.
According to Dagbladet, the infiltrators used false identities and profiles on social media to get into leadership circles of the small organization. “It is tough for the psyche to work like this. One is sitting up to the neck in racism and sewer. I have really developed sympathy for police staff who work over time to reveal for example child porn,” one of the anonymous sources who followed the work being done to steer the NDL said to Dagbladet. A former board member of the NDL to which Dagbladet has spoken said that SOS Racism infiltrators made up the majority of NDL leadership at the time of the failed April 9th demonstration.
Remi Huseby, the first leader of the NDL inteviewed by the Norwegian press, is from a small coastal city called Haugesund. Haugesund is where SOS Racism has its main office and the PST also has an office in the city. In the first ever news coverage of the NDL which was published by TV2 on February 5, 2011, three weeks before the PST press conference, TV2 reporters travelled to Luton in England to film Norwegian NDL members partaking in an English Defence League demonstration. According to TV2, several other Norwegians that had planned to travel to Luton for the event cancelled their plans.
Håvar Krane, who became leader of the NDL shortly after the February 28th PST press conference, is known to have made provocative statements a week earlier, at the meeting of another right-wing organisation, SIAN (Stopp Islamisering Av Norge – Stop the Islamization of Norway), on February 21, 2011. In a voice recording published by TV2, Krane can be heard saying that he would have liked to shoot one of the members of the government in the back of the head with a Glock pistol, and he presents a scenario for attacking the Labor coalition government: “I envision the Chistmas party of the government, perfect moment to block all exits with Molotov cocktails, except the door I shall enter.”
According to this week’s article in Dagbladet, Lena Andreassen, who began “weeding out” unwanted persons from the NDL after the PST press conference, and who took over as leader after Krane, had no idea about the infiltration of the NDL by SOS Racism members. However, on March 13, 2011, two weeks after the PST press conference, Lena Andreassen told VG that, for several weeks, she had worked around the clock to get rid of undesirable people from the NDL. Andreassen also said that she had collaborated with the Oslo Police about this and that she had close contact with the PST. In the interview, she also explained that she had previously had a partner who was helped by the PST to get out of a right-wing group called Boot Boys.
After the 7/22 attacks, in the end of September 2011, Lena Andreassen was reportedly kidnapped for a month by former members of the English Defence League (EDL). She has said that she is afraid of what will happen if what she has told the police becomes publically known. The Norwegian press reportedly has copies of her statements to the police, but this information has not been published.
AUF fraud scheme and Serve the People (Tjen Folket)
In 2011, leaders of SOS Racism were found guilty of massive fraud and the organization had most of its funds confiscated. It has been revealed that, throughout the last decade, the organization had been using the identical fraud scheme that was utilized by the Oslo branch of the Labor Youth Organisation (AUF) during the 1990s to steal taxpayers’ money. In both cases, false memberships were created and paid for in order to increase subsidies. The national leader of the AUF at the time was Trond Giske (Labor), now Minister of Business.
It has also been revealed that SOS Racism, during the period in which the fraud took place, was steered by a shadow leadership group from a secretive communist organization called Serve the People (Tjen Folket) that had infiltrated and hijacked the anti-racist organization. According to the National Register of Legal Entities (Enhetsregisteret), Serve the People was established on May 1, 1998, a few days after Oslo AUF leaders were found guilty by the Oslo District Court (Tingrett) of serious fraud on April 21, 1998.
The SOS fraud resulted in official membership numbers skyrocketing from around 5000 in 1999 to more than 40,000 in 2006, releasing millions of Norwegian crowns (kroner) in subsidies for anti-racism and pro-immigration activism which would have provided support for the immigration policies of the Labor Party.
It is possible that the infiltrators of NDL, in addition to being members of SOS Racism, were members of Serve the People (Tjen Folket). Some individuals facing prosecution and prison sentences for their involvement in the SOS fraud case may have been motivated to work as police informants.
Breivik kept a low profile
The PST developed a sudden interest in the NDL in February 2011. It appears that the first version of the Norwegian Defence League (NDL) was closed down a few days before the February 28th PST press conference and, if what Dagbladet writes this week is correct, was replaced by one led by left-wing infiltrators positive to the immigration policies of the Labor Party.
In Europe, state infiltration of right-wing organizations is not uncommon. Der Spiegel has reported that in Germany, the domestic intelligence agency (Office for the Protection of the Constitution) has more than 130 informants inside the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD), many in leadership positions.
The PST may have had credible intelligence information that made it an urgent matter to infiltrate the political right in Norway in the spring of 2011. Statements by police sources to VG on February 27, 2011, indicate this could have been the case. It is conceivable that what led to the sudden concern was the reported phone threat to the Justice Department, and that this call took place in January or February and not in March as has been supposed.
If the Norwegian Defence League was created by or hijacked by the political left, it would seem that this either happened in collaboration with the Police Security Service (PST) or, alternatively, was outside the control of the PST and, therefore, might have interfered with police investigations.
Perhaps the NDL was initially established as a police effort to infiltrate Norwegian EDL sympathisers, but that the PST lost control over the situation when someone else, maybe politicians or journalists, not fully realizing the seriousness of the operation, got word about it and thought the situation provided a good opportunity for staging a media campaign against people opposing the Labor Party’s immigration policies.
As mentioned above, the Norwegian press has a strong left-wing bias and more than 70% of journalists vote for either the Labor Party or the Socialist Left Party. The chief editor of the once conservative newspaper, Aftenposten, Hilde Haugsgjerd, was once the leader of the Red Electoral Alliance, a far-left political party promoting revolutionary ideas and Marxism. It is, therefore, quite conceivable that some in the Norwegian media may have been involved in some sort of political propaganda campaign intended to delegitimize right-wingers.
The fact that the leader of the PST at the time, Janne Kristiansen, was hand-picked for the job by a Labor Party minister, and her appointment was widely regarded as political, could lead one to speculate as to whether the Labor Party was the architect behind the the fake version of NDL and the accompanying massive media coverage. Currently, however, there is no evidence to support such speculation.
During police questioning, Breivik has explained that if he had been a member of the Norwegian Defence League, the PST would have detected him before he could carry out the attacks. In the compendium that he published, 2083 – A European Declaration of Independence, Breivik discussed the importance of keeping a low profile to avoid being “flagged” by the secret police.
PST evaluation report
In a detailed evaluation report published on Friday, the PST concludes that it was not possible for the police to detect Breivik:
“Based on what we have seen through the evaluation work, Anders Behring Breivik’s activities on the internet appear in such a way that it does not stand out in relation to the activities of other participants on these pages. There is a large number of participants that voice more provoking or more extreme viewpoints than what Breivik did. This evaluation is supported by those statements that have been referred to from different research environments about this. In addition, Anders Behring Breivik had in the planning phase been thoroughly very security conscious and been careful not to write anything that would attract negative attention….”
Presenting the report at a press conference, Roger Berg, interim head of PST, said that Breivik had planned the attacks for years and been utmost security conscious. “If the PST should have detected Breivik and thereby have prevented the terror operation, we would have needed a specific tip. We did not get that…”, Berg said according to VG.
Berg also said that the 7/22 attacks require the PST to think anew, but that the PST does not believe increased surveillance is the way to go forward, stressing instead the importance of society as a whole in preventing escalation of violence.
The PST’s views are good news for Norway and civil liberties. While it is important to prevent violence, in a free democratic society citizens must have the right to be active in politics without state interference.
Timeline of events – Spring 2011
Feb 05 – NDL leader Remi Huseby interviewed by TV2 in Luton at EDL demonstration
Feb 19 – Klassekampen reports about planned NDL demonstration and counter-demonstration
Feb 21 – Håvar Krane makes provocative statements at SIAN meeting
Feb 26 – Cancelled NDL demonstration in front of Oslo Cathedral
Feb 26 – New NDL website established, NDL renamed “Norsk Forsvars Allianse”
Feb 27 – Police sources tell VG that the police are concerned about a new threat
Feb 28 – PST annual press conference – focus on NDL
Mar 01 – Remi Huseby steps down as leader of NDL
Mar 01 – Håvar Krane becomes interim leader of NDL
Mar 09 – Breivik asks on EDL forum if anybody knows if the police were trying to stop the NDL movement
Mar 13 – Lena Andreassen tells VG that she collaborates with Oslo Police and has close contact with PST
Mar 19 – Lena Andreassen becomes new NDL leader
Apr 09 – Failed NDL demonstration at Akershus Fortress, large counter-demonstration
Apr 13 – EDL withdraws support from NDL
Apr 13 – Lena Andreassen, Håvar Krane and other leaders leave NDL
Jul 22 – Anders Behring Breivik carries out attacks
Sep 29 – Lena Andreassen kidnapped for a month by former EDL members
Google translation [edited for clarity]:
“Several people with ties to SOS Racism built up the right-wing Norwegian Defence League, says former board member….
Last 9 April, on the anniversary of Nazi Germany’s invasion of Norway, demonstrated the Islam hostile and extreme-right group, Norwegian Defence league (NDL), against the “Islamic occupation” in Oslo. NDL had then about a thousand people with strong anti-Islamic attitudes and a number of well-known right-wingers as members.
Activists from the violent and extremist sister organization, the English Defence League (EDL) in the UK, to Norway to participate.
Led by anti-racists
Dagbladet can now reveal that the demonstration was organized by several anti-racists. According to several independent sources, the NDL’s management as well as other positions in the organization was infiltrated by people with close ties to SOS Racism.
“When we decided to organize the demonstration, had people who worked with SOS Racism a clear majority in the management of the NDL,” says a former member of the NDL-management to Dagbladet.
The person says that he worked to infiltrate the leadership of NDL for several years under a false name. In practice, built and operated the NDL, as they reported to SOS Racism, according to several sources.
“SOS Racism had full control of the NDL. In 2010 and until the Spring of 2011 we were working in collaboration with SOS Racism, a clear majority of the board and management of the NDL,” said the person.
In the interests of the involved persons’ safety, Dagbladet chose not to disclose their names.
The information confirmed by several independent sources, including people who followed the cooperation within the SOS Racism.
“It included the SOS Racism which suggested that the NDL’s demonstration of April 9th would be at Kontraskjæret at Akershus Fortress. There it was easy to make a counter-demonstrations against them.”
Only a handful of NDL sympathizers showed up. The demonstration was branded as a failure and management of the organization were replaced.
SOS Racism fielded several dozen counter-demonstrators and received much attention.
Several of those present knew of efforts to control the NDL by infiltrators, according to the Dagbladet know. Dagbladet has asked SOS Racism for an opinion on this matter. The organization confirmed that they read Dagbladet’s request, but gave no answer.
A key representative of SOS Racism, who has been pointed out by several sources as a director of NDL in 2010 and 2011, denied knowledge of the infiltration.
“What you ask about has no basis in reality,” he answers questions from Dagbladet.
Infiltrators used the fake profiles and identities on websites to get into the NDL-management. How wondered the initiators of the NDL to give them key positions, according to sources. NDL-management often met through video conferencing on the Internet, but rarely face to face.
“It’s tough for the psyche to work like that. Sitting up to their necks in racism and sewers. I’ve really got sympathy for police officers working over time to reveal, for example, child pornography,” says a source who followed the work to manage the NDL closely.
NDLs leader at this time was Lena Andreassen. She must have been unaware that she was surrounded by infiltrators. Andreassen do not want to comment on the matter.
“Would have enemy”
During the period when the NDL should have had a board majority consisting of anti-racists, the group went from being an unknown Facebook group to become nationally known.
The then leader PST Janne Kristiansen NDL mentioned as a possible threat, at a press conference in February 2011. Both PST and Oslo Police have spent considerable resources on the NDL.
“SOS Racism would have an enemy and an adversary in the debate on immigration,” says a source involved in the work.
Today, the NDL under new management.
“We have become aware that last year was more infiltrators in the NDL,” said spokesman Ron Alte to Dagbladet….
Original article: “Antirasister bygde høyreekstrem organisasjon”
Related article: Anders Behring Breivik was in contact with the EDL
Related article: Anti-Islamic groups across Europe to attend far-Right rally
Related article: German Intelligence Has 130 Informants in Extremist Party
Related article: PST Evaluation Report
Related website: English Defence League
Related website: Norwegian Defence League