Was Norwegian killer trained by oligarch-linked group?
By Maidhc Ó Cathail
August 17, 2011
Citing unnamed sources within Belarus’s “security organs,” a Belarusian opposition leader has claimed that Norwegian anti-Muslim extremist Anders Behring Breivik “underwent paramilitary training in Belarus.” Mikhail Reshetnikov, the head of the opposition Belarusian Party of Patriots, told the Russian Gazeta.ru online newspaper, “Breivik visited Belarus several times. This spring, as part of his preparations for his twin attacks, he visited Minsk, where he underwent training at a secret paramilitary field camp.” According to Reshetnikov, Breivik’s training under a former Belarusian special service officer included “sabotage-terrorism drills.” The Norwegian visitor, he added, was known to the Belarusian KGB by the codename “Viking.”
The Gazeta.ru report also cites a “political expert” opposed to the country’s much-maligned regime – dubbed “Europe’s last dictatorship” by “pro-democracy” advocates such as Senator Joe Lieberman – who attempted to add to the suspicions generated by the Belarusian opposition leader. While acknowledging that it was “far-fetched” to believe that Belarus’s special forces were involved in training Anders Breivik, Viktor Demidov told the Russian online newspaper, “On the other hand, [Belarusian] President Alexander Lukashenko’s friendship with Muammar Gaddafi is no secret – neither is his fondness for Adolf Hitler.”
There are some for whom the Belarusian complicity theory doesn’t seem far-fetched, though. Citing such sources as the CIA/NED front Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Rubert Murdoch’s The Sun, a United States-based blog which describes itself as “For America and Israel and Their Friends Abroad” goes even further in attempting to pin the Norway tragedy on the beleaguered Belarusian president. “A Manchurian Candidate-style terrorist, programmed to slaughter his fellow ethnic Norwegians in a way that appears to have been deliberately designed to embarrass Israel (which the killer praised in his manifesto) and put legitimate, pro-democracy anti-Islamists on the defensive,” the Foreign Confidential blog suggests, “would most likely be viewed with favor in Belarus, where, U.S. Special Envoy [to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism] Hannah Rosenthal reports, ‘President Lukashenka [sic] and other Belarusian government officials are known for making anti-Semitic statements.’”
Writing on Russia Blog, Yuri Mamchur states, however, that it would be a “long stretch” to hold Belarus responsible for the attacks in Norway. On the contrary, he points out that Minsk’s “tight government regime and active intelligence” ensured that it kept “precise records” on Breivik’s comings and goings. Thus, the reference to Brevik as “Viking” in intelligence reports is probably explained by the Belarusian KGB’s record of him telling customs officials on his first visit to Belarus in March 2005 that he had come to visit Viking graves (the Viking Kievan Rus defeated the Jewish Khazar empire near here around 965 AD). Unlike the other sources, Mamchur names Breivik’s “militant-terrorist” trainer as 51-year-old Valery Lunev, a former colonel of Belarusian special forces, who now lives in the Netherlands but regularly visits Belarus.
This is where the story gets really interesting.
According to the Left Russia internet weekly, Valery Lunev is a Muslim convert, who converted to Islam after marrying a relative of Dzhokhar Dudayev, the first president of the unrecognised secessionist Chechen Republic of Ichkeria who was assassinated in 1996. Lunev, the Russian website maintains, is not only connected to a radical branch of the pan-Turkist Grey Wolves but is executive director and head of the Dubai office of Far West LLC, a shadowy intelligence and military consultancy firm which works closely with the private military contracting company KBR (formerly Kellogg Brown & Root) and the intelligence services of Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United States among others.
Formerly known as Far West Ltd, the firm is run by a group of former Soviet intelligence officers who emerged from what one researcher described as “a shady group in Russia with Alfa connections.” The Alfa Group was founded in the late 1980s as a commodities trading firm by Mikhail Fridman, one of the seven oligarchs who gained control of up to 50% of Russia’s economy through the rigged post-Soviet “privatization” of the nation’s resources. Six of the Big Seven who financed Boris Yeltsin’s re-election campaign in 1995, including Fridman, a founder of the Russian Jewish Congress, qualify for Israeli citizenship.
But ever since Vladimir Putin began reversing the oligarchization of Russia, the Russian leader has been targeted by the oligarchs’ powerful transnational associates. The Economist magazine, in which members of the Rothschild banking dynasty are the biggest family investors, portrays the conviction of Mikhail Khodorkovsky on charges of tax evasion, fraud and embezzlement as a return to the era of Stalin’s show trials. The sympathy for Khodorkovsky may have something to do with the fact that control of the jailed oligarch’s Yukos oil shares worth almost £8 billion had been transferred to none other than Lord Jacob Rothschild. Meanwhile, “People Power” coups in the former Soviet Union have been financed by hedge fund manager and Khodorkovsky apologist George Soros, whose Quantum fund was kick-started in the late 1960s by Rothschild family members.
According to researchers affiliated with Left Russia, Soros is a business partner of Vladimir Litovchenko, the vice-president of Far West LLC, whose known cover names include Vladimir Ilyich Filin (Ukrainian and British passports) and F. P. Carvallo (Brazilian passport). The Russian weekly claims that Far West has repeatedly conspired with Putin’s foreign adversaries, such as in the lead-up to the 2008 invasion of South Ossetia by Georgian President and Soros protégé Mikheil Saakashvili when directors of the “consultancy” firm allegedly worked closely with Randy Scheunemann and Robert Kagan, both staunch pro-Israelis who were then advising the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain (for whom Lord Rothschild and his son, Nathaniel, hosted a controversial London fundraiser).
Always on the lookout for investment opportunities, Soros attended an ownership convention on natural resources in Norway on June 15. Under the conference organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the billionaire financier met with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, Minister of Trade and Industry Trond Giske, Environment and International Development Minister Erik Solheim, and Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store. Discussions were of a general nature, Soros told Norway’s leading business publication, Dagens Næringsliv, but “cooperation between Norway and my organisation Revenue Watch Institute was one of the main themes.”
Considering Soros’s animus toward Putin, Norway’s emerging energy cooperation with Russia was most likely one of the other themes on the agenda. Signed in September 2010, the Russian-Norwegian treaty on maritime delimitation and cooperation in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean came into force on July 7. “The document will allow Russia and Norway to explore oil and gas fields on the Arctic continental shelf at an area of 175,000 sq km (43.2 million acres),” the Azeri-Press Agency reports. “The continental part of the Arctic may contain some 13% of the global unexplored oil reserves and 30% of gas reserves.”
In light of the above, instead of seeing Anders Breivik’s alleged terrorism training in Belarus under a director of the oligarch-linked Far West as evidence of President Lukashenko’s complicity in the Norway twin terror attacks, couldn’t it just as easily be taken as pointing toward the involvement of George Soros and his shady transnational associates?