OSLO — Paul Ray, the far-right activist thought to be the “mentor” cited by Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik, on Wednesday denied having contact with the man who has confessed to 77 murders.
“Everyone has been pointing the finger at me. That’s why I’m here in Norway now. I’m not his mentor. I have never met him,” Ray, a former member of the English Defence League, told Norway’s NRK television station.
“I want this cleared up,” he added.
Ray, who lives in Malta, came to Norway voluntarily to speak to police investigating the July 22 twin attacks in Oslo and a nearby island.
“We are to going to interview him as quickly as possible,” Oslo police spokesman Roar Hanssen told AFP, explaining that the interview would likely take place Thursday.
Ray is widely considered to be the unnamed “mentor” mentioned by Behring Breivik in the 1,500-page manifesto he posted online shortly before carrying out the attacks.
Describing himself as a crusader at war against multiculturalism and Islam, Behring Breivik, 32, explained in the document that he once had “a relatively close relationship” with an Englishman he gave the pseudonym “Richard”, “who became my mentor.”
Ray, who heads the “Knights Templar” movement and runs a “Richard the Lionhearted” blog, has said he recognised himself in the Norwegian rightwing extremist’s description.
Asked in the Wednesday interview if he had any contact with Behring Breivik, including online, Ray said “never”.
Ray has called the July 22 attacks “pure evil” in an interview with the Times.
Behring Breivik has confessed to setting off a bomb outside government offices in Oslo killing eight people, before going on a shooting rampage on the nearby island of Utoeya, where the ruling Labour Party’s youth wing was hosting a summer camp, killing 69 others, many of them teenagers.
He is currently being held in solitary confinement at a high-security prison near Oslo, and has claimed he acted alone.