Paul Ray, bak bloggen Lionheart, bekrefter overfor AP at det finnes en hemmelig gruppe som kaller seg Tempelridderne, slik Anders Behring Breivik hevder, men den er langt mer løs enn han fremstiller.
Behring Breivik sier han har hatt en mentor som heter Richard. Kunne mannen bak Lionheart? Nei, sier Paul Ray, men han bekrefter at ordenen eksisterer.
Ray, who the AP reached in Malta, where he now lives, confirmed the existence of a loose group of anti-Islamic extremists inspired by the Knights Templar, a Crusader-era fighting force known for battling Islam. But he said Breivik is not associated with it.
And while he says he shares his anti-Muslim views, he doesn’t know Breivik and is not the mentor cited in his rambling manifesto.
«My thoughts are the same … that there is a threat to our way of life from Islam. I’m not going to say I don’t think there is, because I do,» Ray said.
But Ray suggested the group had no formal structure, and he refused to name any members or indicate how many it has.
«It’s an idea,» Ray said. «It’s not like it’s a massive organization. It’s a belief.»
Det finnes mange fallgruber i tolkningen av dette utsagnet. Alt fra at Paul Ray sitter på innsiden og driver bevist propaganda. Han sier nok til å bidra til en myte. Men det kan også være at gruppen er løs, deler ideologi, men ikke opererer som celler med planer om å begå terror.
APs Simon Haydon røper en politisk holdning som ikke gjør ham egnet til å løse de spørsmålene.
The modern Knights Templar have widespread company across Europe in their Islam-bashing beliefs. France’s National Front, Austria’s Freedom Party, Finland’s True Finns, Holland’s Party of Freedom have all caused alarm with a xenophobic message that has been attracting growing support in mainstream society.
En meget tendensiøs slutning.
Det er en tidligere avhopper fra EDL som først oppga at Paul Ray kunne være mentoren til Breivik.
Men etterforskere tror det kanskje ikke var én person, men flere.
An alleged connection between Ray and the «mentor» cited by Breivik was first disclosed to the AP by Stephen Lennon, the leader of a far-right group in the U.K., the English Defense League. Ray, who broke away from the group several years ago, adamantly denies any such connection.
A European intelligence official said Thursday that investigators were beginning to doubt the existence of a single mentor, at least in the way Breivik describes him in his writings, and now believe Breivik may have had several people in mind. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss an ongoing investigation.