A Norwegian neo-Nazi rocker, who was on the mailing
list of terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, was arrested Tuesday in
France over fears he could stage a "large-scale" attack.
Kristian Vikernes, who performs under the name Varg Vikernes, was arrested with his French wife at their home in the central Correze region - despite authorities having no knowledge of a specific plot.
RTL radio quoted intelligence sources as saying he was among the people to whom Breivik emailed his manifesto to on the day he killed 77 people in twin bomb and shooting attacks in Oslo and the nearby island of Utoya in 2011. Breivik used the 1,500-page document to rail against immigrants and Islam.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls confirmed that Vikernes, 40, had received messages from Breivik.
While the suspect had "neither a target, nor an identified plot" he was "particularly dangerous," according to the minister, who defended a need to "act before, not afterwards" when it came to terrorism.
The interior ministry said in a statement he was "close to the neo-Nazi movement" and "liable to prepare a large-scale terrorist act."
Vikernes is a notorious figure in Norway, where he was sentenced to 21 years in prison in 1994 for the murder of Oeystein Aarseth, the guitarist in his own band, whom he stabbed to death.
He was also linked to a string of arson attacks on Christian churches but was never convicted of those crimes.
He was released from prison in 2009 and later moved to France with his young and three children.
His wife had recently used her gun licence to acquire four rifles, according to RTL radio.
The interior ministry cited Vikernes' remarks on the internet as proof of the threat he posed.
On his Russian-hosted website, www.burzum.org, the black metal musician is shown posing in military attire, as well as in a Viking helmet and chainmail vest. Many of his posts are virulently anti-Semitic.
While distancing himself from Breivik, whom he calls the "murderer of (amongst others) dozens of Norwegian teenage girls" he defends the use of violence in defense of a vision of one's country.
"When the survival of your country is threatened, you have the right to defend yourself, including through violence if necessary," he told the French-language Radio Metal website.
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