Black metal musician and neo-Nazi sympathiser Kristian “Varg” Vikernes was arrested in southwestern France on Tuesday after investigators decided he might stage a large “terrorist act”, Interior Minister Manuel Valls said. The police suspect the Norwegian national of planning a “massacre” and searched his house for weapons and explosives.
Vikernes, 40, a well-known black metal musician in Norway, was arrested with his French wife Marie Chachet after she recently bought four rifles, Valls said in a statement.
“Having received the manifesto before (Breivik) committed his crimes and having been sentenced in Norway in the past for murder, this individual, who was close to a neo-Nazi movement, was likely to prepare a large terrorist act,” Valls said.
Cachet, a member of a shooting club, purchased the rifles legally with her shooting permit. “The investigation will notably establish the conditions in which these (rifles) were acquired and their real objective,” Valls said.
The anti-terrorist prosecutor has been put in charge of the investigation. In a statement, the French Ministry of the Interior deemed him “likely to prepare a large-scale act of terrorism”.
“Vikernes, the man behind black metal project Burzum, had served 16 years of a 21-year prison term – the maximum sentence in Norway – for the murder of Øystein Aarseth, known as Euronymous, the guitar player of black metal band Mayhem. “
Vikernes had also been convicted of arson attacks on four churches. He was freed in May 2009. He then moved to France with his wife and three children.
Vikernes, a Pagan and vocal neo-Nazi sympathiser, had reportedly received a copy of the manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik, the far-right terrorist responsible for the July 2011 Oslo bombing and Utoeya Massacre which left 77 dead. Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in jail for terrorism on August 2012.
Breivik sending a copy of a manifesto setting out his ideology to Vikernes, an official at the prosecutor’s office said. “That was the origin of the investigation… There were several suspicions that made the services fear he could possibly carry out a violent act,” the official said.
On his website, Vikernes discusses Breivik’s manifesto, but in a post called “War in Europe: Part V – Breivik Unveiled” he also criticises the murderer for killing more innocent Norwegians than Muslims. Vikernes, who describes himself as a “pagan,” accuses Breivik of being a Zionist agent and “Christian loser”.
“If you, dear European nationalists, really want to save Europe (as a biological term) you have to realise that the only thing to do is to cast aside all Christian other international nonsense and embrace only the European (i.e. Pagan) values and ideals and if you like the European deities as well,” said the posting, dated December 13. “If you work for Christianity in any way you work for the Jews. Plain and simple.”