Norway shooting: Norway shooter gets some support from Europeans
LUTON, England (AP) - The leader of a British far-right group to which Anders Behring Breivik claims links called the attacks a sign of "growing anger" in Europe against Muslim immigrants, while a politician in a party in Italy's governing coalition called some of the gunman's ideas "great."
Following a wave of near universal revulsion against the attacks, the comments were among the first public statements that appeared to defend the extremist views that drove the Norwegian gunman to carry out the massacre.
Stephen Lennon, leader of the English Defense League, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he does not condone Breivik's rampage but "the fact that so many people are scared - people have to listen to that."
"People should look at what happened in Oslo and understand that there is growing anger in Europe," said Lennon, 28. "You suppress people's rights you suppress people's voices and people will just continue to go underground - but that doesn't make the problem go away."
Backtracking on earlier denials of any link to Breivik, Lennon said he is in touch with regional EDL leaders to find out whether the gunman had contact with members of the group as he claims in his sprawling manifesto.
Breivik has also posted admiring comments about the EDL online and expressed a wish to attend its rallies.
"It could turn out that one of our members met with him but at this point we're not turning anything up," Lennon said.
Meanwhile, Mario Borghezio, a European parliamentarian who belongs to Italy's rightwing Northern League party, told a mainstream Italian radio station that he sympathized with some of Breivik's ideas.
"Some of the ideas he expressed are good, barring the violence, some of them are great," he told Il Sole-24 Ore radio station.
The Northern League, the junior partner in Premier Silvio Berlusconi's government, has caused a stir with its increasingly virulent anti-immigrant, anti-Islamic rhetoric.
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