'Breivik the crusader' claims allegiance to the Knights Templar

Anders Breivik in 'Knights Templar' uniform
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 'Knight's Templar'
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
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.