NYT: US ‘Counter-Jihad’ Bloggers Heavily Influenced Oslo Terrorist

‘This rhetoric is not cost-free’
World • Views: 45,521

In the New York Times, Scott Shane looks at the undeniable influence of people like Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller on the Oslo terrorist: Killings in Norway Spotlight Anti-Muslim Thought in U.S.

In the document he posted online, Anders Behring Breivik, who is accused of bombing government buildings and killing scores of young people at a Labor Party camp, showed that he had closely followed the acrimonious American debate over Islam.

His manifesto, which denounced Norwegian politicians as failing to defend the country from Islamic influence, quoted Robert Spencer, who operates the Jihad Watch Web site, 64 times, and cited other Western writers who shared his view that Muslim immigrants pose a grave danger to Western culture.

The “counter-jihad” keyboard warriors are shocked and outraged, of course, at the suggestion that the vicious bile and hatred they spew on a daily basis could have anything to do with this atrocity.

The revelations about Mr. Breivik’s American influences exploded on the blogs over the weekend, putting Mr. Spencer and other self-described “counterjihad” activists on the defensive, as their critics suggested that their portrayal of Islam as a threat to the West indirectly fostered the crimes in Norway.

Mr. Spencer wrote on his Web site, jihadwatch.org, that “the blame game” had begun, “as if killing a lot of children aids the defense against the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, or has anything remotely to do with anything we have ever advocated.” He did not mention Mr. Breivik’s voluminous quotations from his writings.

The Gates of Vienna, a blog that ordinarily keeps up a drumbeat of anti-Islamist news and commentary, closed its pages to comments Sunday “due to the unusual situation in which it has recently found itself.”

Its operator, who describes himself as a Virginia consultant and uses the pseudonym “Baron Bodissey,” wrote on the site Sunday that “at no time has any part of the Counterjihad advocated violence.”

And as usual, the most incoherent defense comes from hate group leader Pamela Geller:

Mr. Breivik frequently cited another blog, Atlas Shrugs, and recommended the Gates of Vienna among Web sites. Pamela Geller, an outspoken critic of Islam who runs Atlas Shrugs, wrote on her blog Sunday that any assertion that she or other antijihad writers bore any responsibility for Mr. Breivik’s actions was “ridiculous.”

“If anyone incited him to violence, it was Islamic supremacists,” she wrote.

As I wrote yesterday, the chain of responsibility in this case is much clearer than it was in the Gabrielle Giffords shooting. There’s no doubt whatsoever that Anders Behring Breivik was seriously influenced by these people, and they know it. Their guilty consciences are showing.

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