Norway gunman's 'mentor' slams attacks as 'pure evil'
A British man cited by gunman Anders Behring Breivik as his "mentor" on Friday denounced the Norwegian's actions as "pure evil" and "did not equate to anything I am involved in."
Speaking to The Times newspaper, Paul Ray admitted he may have been the inspiration behind Behring Breivik's massacre of 76 people, but said he had rejected the attacker's Facebook friend request because he "didn't like the look of him".
Ray, 35, is the leader of a Knights Templar movement inspired by the actions of medieval crusaders against Islam and runs a "Richard the Lionhearted" blog which is believed to have underpinned Behring Breivik's 1,500 page online manifesto.
"I am being implicated as his mentor," said Ray, who left Britain for Malta in 2008 after he was arrested for allegedly inciting racial hatred on his blogsite.
"I definitely could have been his inspiration," he conceded. "He has given me a platform and a profile but what he did was pure evil. I could never use what he has done to further my own beliefs."
Behring Breivik, who was to be questioned by police later Friday, posted pictures of himself dressed in the Knights Templar uniform and described a man similar to Ray as his "mentor" after he claimed to have met him at an event in 2008.
Friday will be the second time that police interrogate the far-right extremist since Saturday, the morning after his shooting rampage on Utoeya island and the bomb blast in downtown Oslo.
Ray is a former activist for the English Defence League (EDL), which campaigns against Islamic extremism in Britain.
The group denied in a statement late Sunday that it had any "official contact" with the 32-year-old mass murderer despite Behring Breivik's claims that he had been in touch with them.
"We can categorically state that there has never been any official contact between him and the EDL, our Facebook page had 100,000 supporters and receives tens of thousands of comments each day," it said in a statement.
"And there is no evidence that Breivik was ever one of those 100,000 supporters."
It claimed the Norwegian had in fact talked about the EDL in a negative light, saying: "It couldn't be made any clearer that Breivik did not like the way that EDL was a peaceful organisation."
© 2011 AFP