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New Zealand suspect allegedly claimed ‘brief contact’ with Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik

Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people on July 22, 2011, in a bomb attack in Oslo and a mass shooting at a summer camp for children. (Lise Aaserud/AP)

A manifesto allegedly written by a man charged with murder in connection with mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, that left 49 people dead and scores injured claimed inspiration from Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik and suggested that the pair had been in “brief contact”

Breivik, who killed 77 people on July 22, 2011, in a bomb attack in Oslo and a mass shooting at a summer camp for children, is currently serving a 21-year sentence in a prison near the city of Skien.

The manifesto in the Christchurch shootings contains many references to online culture. Many of the claims in the manifesto are uncorroborated, and some appear to be designed to mislead.

49 killed in terrorist attack at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand

Speaking to the Norwegian newspaper VG, Breivik’s lawyer Oystein Storrvik said his client has very little access to the outside world and that he found it hard to believe that the two could have been in contact. “In practice, Breivik is cut off from the outside world,” Storrvik said.

Espen Jambak, assistant prison chief at Breivik’s prison, also told VG that there is “communication control” in Norwegian prisons and that officials there have no knowledge of a letter to Breivik from the person named in media reports about the Christchurch attack.

Police said they will provide “a highly visible” presence when New Zealanders return to daily life three days after an attack on two mosques killed 50 people. (Video: Monica Akhtar, Allie Caren, Drea Cornejo, Sarah Parnass, Taylor Turner/The Washington Post)

The 74-page manifesto allegedly published online by the suspected gunman before the shooting includes a number of references to Breivik. The Norwegian mass murderer’s name was on a list of “partisans/freedom fighters/ethno soldiers” who the author said took a stand against “ethnic and cultural genocide.”

The author said he had drawn inspiration from the writings of Dylann Roof, an American who killed nine black parishioners at a historic church in Charleston, S.C., in a mass shooting in 2015. However, he said his “true inspiration” came from Breivik and appeared to suggest that they had been in contact.

“I have only had brief contact with Knight Justiciar Breivik, receiving a blessing for my mission after contacting his brother knights,” an apparent reference to the Knights Templar, a rumored secret temple knight’s order of which Breivik claimed he was a commander.

The author of the Christchurch manifesto also claimed that he had traveled in Western Europe during 2017, around the time that an attack in Stockholm took place. The author specifically noted the name of Ebba Akerlund, a young girl who was killed in that attack when she was hit by a truck.

“I find it extremely tragic that Ebba’s name is being misused in political propaganda,” Ebba’s mother, Jeanette Akerlund, told the Swedish newspaper Expressen.

Ahead of his own 2011 attack, Breivik had written a far-lengthier manifesto. In its 1,500 pages, the Norwegian made a number of references to New Zealand, in particular suggesting it might be a place for Europeans to move to avoid immigration.

News presenters in Australia and New Zealand, along with a rugby star, were among the first to deliver emotional responses to the shootings at two mosques. (Video: Luis Velarde/The Washington Post)

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