Posts Tagged ‘Norway’


Threat of  fascist attacks revealed

Dylan Welch

October 12, 2011

 

Anders Behring Breivik.Anders Behring Breivik. Photo: Reuters

FASCIST and  nationalist extremist groups are active in and pose a threat to  Australia, with the country’s security agency saying there are legitimate  concerns they may spawn a terrorist in the style of Norway’s Anders Breivik.

The assessment, in the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation‘s annual  report to Parliament, also reveals Australia’s right-wing extremists, much like  the Islamic fundamentalists they loathe, draw inspiration from overseas via the  internet.

”There has been a persistent but small subculture of racist and nationalist  extremists in Australia, forming groups, fragmenting, re-forming and often  fighting amongst themselves,” the report states.

The appraisal also states there has been a recent rise in anarchist or  ”anti-fascist” groups, with the ideologically-opposed groups coming into  conflict.

”Where such confrontations have occurred, the ‘anti-fascists’ have  outnumbered the nationalist and racist extremists and police intervention has  been required,” the report states in its ”Australia’s Security Environment”  section.

The report reveals ASIO –  whose budget  has grown by almost 500 per cent  since 2001 and will next year move into a half-billion-dollar Canberra  headquarters –  has never been busier, with the number of terrorist  investigations rising from about 100 in 2005 to almost 300 this year.

But it is the far-right threat that may surprise the public.

As the recent case of Anders Breivik shows, the dangers posed by right-wing  extremists have not abated, despite most intelligence agencies focusing on the  threats posed by Islamic terrorism.

A Christian who described himself as a ”modern-day crusader”, Breivik  killed 77 people during a bombing in Oslo and a shooting rampage at a teen camp  at an island outside the Norwegian capital in July.

While the assessment does not suggest ASIO has uncovered right-extremists in  Australia that mirror Breivik’s murderous intentions, it reveals they rely on  overseas connections and events to inform and motivate them.

”[They] maintain links and draw inspiration from like-minded overseas  extremists, and much of their rhetoric and activity is derivative, heavily  influenced by developments overseas,” it states. Websites such as  stormfront.org –  the web’s most famous and ubiquitous white supremacist and  neo-Nazi website –  have numerous Australian members.

However, the threat posed by Australian right-wing extremists seems to be  limited, with such groups appearing to be interested only in ”propaganda and  engendering support”.

”However, there is always the possibility of a lone actor or autonomous  group inspired by a nationalist or racist extremist ideology engaging in  violence as a means of provoking a wider response,” the report says.

It states the continued existence of such groups has directly led to the  resurgence of an ”anti-fascist” movement.

”[The anti-fascist movement] aims to confront those it identifies as  fascists, including some of the nationalist and racist extremist groups also of  interest to ASIO,” it states.

The security assessment also discusses its monitoring of ”issue-motivated  groups” –  organisations ranging from community-based forestry groups to  neo-Nazi parties.

”There is …  a small minority who seek to use protests around a range of  emotive issues to further their own (often unrelated) political agenda by  provoking, inciting or engaging in violence. It is this fringe that is of  concern to ASIO.”

The head of ASIO, Director-General of Security David Irvine, also suggests  cuts to ASIO’s budget since 2009 –  after the huge rise since 2001, the agency  lost about $30 million over the past two years  –  may affect  its work. ”ASIO  will not be able to rely on current levels of funding to sustain its ongoing  activities,” Mr Irvine writes.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/threat-of-fascist-attacks-revealed-20111011-1lj7z.html#ixzz1bwlN3ML0