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  1. ITV Report

'Breivik the crusader' claims allegiance to the Knights Templar

Anders Breivik in 'Knights Templar' uniform Photo: Reuters/Andrew Berwick via www.freak.no/Handout

Right-wing fanatic Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in bombing and shooting attacks in Norway, claims that the attacks were part of a wider crusade against Islam in Europe.

Breivik has claimed allegiance to the Knights Templar, which he described as a secret society created to extinguish reminisces of the religion. He allegedly attended a meeting of the Knights Templar in London.

However, Breivik has refused to talk about the group in detail on the third day of his trial.

Anders Breivik published a manifesto for right-wing extremist group 'Knights Templar' Credit: ITV News

So what is the Knights Templar? The original Knights Templar was a 12th century Christian military order whose members wearing white mantles with a red cross, became one of the most formidable fighting forces of the Crusades. It was dissolved in 1312.

Breivik's meeting in London in April 2002 resembled something a little different. ITV's Europe Correspondent Martin Geissler was at the trial today, in which he described the encounter:

Attendees at the summit all adopted pseudonyms. The host, an Englishman, called himself 'Richard the Lionheart'. Breivik asked to be known as 'Sigurd the Crusader', the name of a twelfth century Norwegian king, who he seems to hold as a hero.

– Martin Geissler, ITV's Europe Correspondent at the Anders Breivik trial
Jacques de Molay thought to be the last 'master' of the Knights Templar in the 12th century Credit: Alamy

Breivik accepted that he described "Richard" as being "the perfect knight". When questioned on this he suggested that it meant:

A foot soldier who is strong enough to shoulder responsibility alone, to operate as a "single cell", to manage everything from logistics to the communication of a message."

– ANDERS BEHRING BREIVIK

He described some of the people in attendance as "some of the most brilliant political and military tacticians of Europe".

During the summit of 9 people it was agreed that the "Knights Templar" group would be formed, which raises the question whether there are others capable of committing the same atrocities.

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