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Neo-Nazi linked to Breivik arrested amid fears of 'major terrorist act'

Kristian Vikernes, who is said to have been linked with Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, was arrested by intelligence officers in France earlier today.

Anders Behring Breivik in court during his trial last year
Anders Behring Breivik in court during his trial last year
Image: Frank Augstein/AP/Press Association Images

A NORWEGIAN NEO-NAZI black metal musician and convicted killer was arrested in France today over fears he may have been preparing a “major terrorist act”, the interior ministry said.

Kristian Vikernes, who the ministry said once had a link with Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, was arrested by intelligence officers at dawn at his home in the central village of Salon-la-Tour, along with his French wife Marie Cachet, 25.

The ministry said the 40-year-old, who was “close to the neo-Nazi movement”, could have been preparing a “major terrorist act” although Interior Minister Manuel Valls later admitted that “no target, no plan” had yet been identified.

Vikernes, who goes by the stage name “Varg”, is a notorious black metal musician in Norway, known for stabbing to death a fellow musician and setting fire to several churches in the early 1990s.

Musicians and fans of black metal — an extreme sub-genre of heavy metal — often express anti-Christian views and were involved in the burning of more than 50 churches in Norway between 1992 and 1996.

Surveillance

Vikernes was sentenced to 21 years in prison following the murder of the musician, the so-called Euronymous. He was released after serving 16 years, and later came to settle in France in 2010.

“The stay in prison probably made me a little more extreme, in every way,” he said in a 2010 interview with the magazine Guitar World.

That same year on his blog, he called on people to vote for Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front party.

He had been under surveillance for several years, but anti-terrorism authorities in Paris opened a probe into the father-of-three at the beginning of the month after his wife purchased weapons — albeit legally as she has a permit.

Officers seized several weapons at their home today, including four 22 Caliber Long Rifles. Valls said authorities had decided it was important to arrest Vikernes “to act before and not afterwards.”

Vikernes once had a link with Breivik, who is being held in isolation in a high security prison near Oslo for killing 77 people in twin attacks in 2011, Valls said.

The notorious mass killer had sent him a long manifesto that he had worked on for years and which he published just before the Norway attacks, the minister added.

© AFP, 2013

Read: Breivik gives up his inheritance – to stop Norway giving it to his victims

Read: Breivik files complaint over “aggravated torture” in prison

Read: Anders Behring Breivik complains about “sadistic” Norwegian prison conditions

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