Oslo police monitor anti-Islam meetings: report

Police investigators have for years been participating in meetings of far-right and anti-immigrant groups and individuals, including Anders Behring Breivik, in order assess the potential for violent attacks, according to a media report.

The meetings brought together groups opposed to immigration and Islam and were organized by the website Document.no, according to a report in the Aftenposten daily.  The meetings discussed subjects ranging from immigration to ecology, according to the newspaper.

“A throwback to the days when police would monitor the left,” said Document.no editor Hans Rustad to the newspaper in response to the report.

Convicted terrorist Anders Behring Breivik is reported to have attended several meetings organized by Document.no and according to the police survey he was assessed as “moderate and relatively centrist within the community”.

The community was assessed by the police to have a “low potential for immediate violence”.

The police have however rejected the claim that they monitored the meetings. In an email to Aftenposten spokesperson Roar Hansen explained that police were only in attendance to ensure against outbreaks of violence.

Hansen also underlined that the police were not present at any of the Document.no meetings until after the arrest of Anders Behring Breivik. Breivik is reported to have attended a meeting on December 10th 2009, the same day US president Barack Obama visited Oslo.

This information however appears inconsistent with the 22 July Commission into the Oslo bombing and shootings on Utøya Island carried out by Breivik and which left 77 people dead and 242 wounded.

The report clearly stated that “Breivik kept a relatively modest profile in meetings arranged by Document.no. At one of these meetings investigators from Oslo police were present to identify communities”.

“‘At one of these meetings’ does not necessarily mean one of the meetings that Breivik attended, but one of the meetings organized by Document.no. We were not at any meetings that Breivik was at,” Hansen wrote.

The Local, 7 September 2012