The Breivik - Headley Connections

June 3rd 2012

There are numerous parallels between the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai massacre David Headley and the currently-on-trial face of the 2011 Norway attacks Anders Breivik.  An examination of these parallels suggests there is more than meets the eye with Breivik. 

One obvious and telling connection is that both men's fathers were diplomats.  David Coleman Headley was born Daood Sayed Gilani, the son of Sayed Salim Gilani, in June 1960.  His father worked at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington D.C., and for Voice of America, a CIA/State Department foreign propaganda service.  Its counterpart, Voice of Russia, was the prototype for Russia Today. 

It is clearly a political family.  David's half-brother is Danyal Gilani, the former spin doctor for the Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani, to whom David may also be distantly related.  His father's work as a diplomat, and for a CIA propaganda organisation, suggests that Gilani snr. was also involved with intelligence agencies.  Presumably this would be how David found his way into becoming a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) informant, which appears to have led on to him working as a deep cover terrorist spy for, we assume, the CIA. 

Anders Behring Breivik was born in Oslo in February 1979.  His father, Jens David Breivik, was an economist who worked at the Norwegian embassy in London (and later in Paris).  Breivik spent the first year of his life in London, until his parents divorced.  It was not a match made in heaven - his father went on to be married twice more, despite already having children from a marriage prior to that with Breivik's mother. 

In turn, his mother, Wenche Behring, was an apparently feminist lone parent, who brought Anders up in an environment he criticised as 'super-liberal' and 'matriarchal', and which 'completely lacked discipline'.  At one stage the Norwegian government assessed that Wenche was an unfit parent, and Jens pursued custody of his son.  This failed, according to Jens, because the Norwegian system is biased towards mothers. 

Indeed, Headley's parents also divorced when he was young.  When the marriage between Sayed Gilani and Serrill Headley broke up, young David went to live with his father.  He grew up in Pakistan until he was 17 or 18, at which point a coup d'etat in Pakistan caused his mother to take custody of him and bring him back to America.  During this time, Headley attended the Cadet College, Hasan Abdal, a residential military prep school.  Likewise, Breivik went to the elite Smestad Primary School, the same school as the crown prince of Norway.  Both men from well-to-do families, both sons of diplomats, both schooled at elite educational facilities. 

In a moment of levity in Breivik's manifesto he refers to his time at Smestad, saying:

During my early youth while attending Smestad primary school in Oslo, Norway; I remember being forced to complete mandatory knitting and sewing courses. These courses were first implemented in various Western European countries as a result of Marxist revolution which started all the way back in the 1930s but had its climax around 1968. These mandatory knitting and sewing courses were implemented with the goal of deliberately contribute to feminise European boys in their insane quest to attempt to create the Marxist utopia consisting of true equality between the sexes. I remember I dreaded these courses as it felt very unnatural and was a complete waste of time. In retrospect, however, I am grateful for having received this insight into sewing and stitching as this knowledge is an essential skill when constructing and assembling modern ballistic armour It is quite ironic and even hilarious when reflecting on the fact that a skill which was intended to feminize European boys can and will in fact be used to re-implement the patriarchy by overthrowing the Western European cultural Marxist/multiculturalist regimes.

Headley did not leave a manifesto or diary of his role in the Mumbai slaughter, though there is 100 page Indian National Intelligence Agency (NIA) report summarising what he told Indian officials during his interrogation.  In it, he says that it was his idea for the Mumbai attackers to wear saffron/yellow wrist bands, the symbols of the Hindutva Hindu radicals.  Headley says he bought the wrist bands at the Siddhivinayak Temple on one of his scouting trips to Mumbai.

Ajmal Kasab yellow wrist band
Ajmal Kasab, the only surviving Mumbai attacker, complete with wrist band

Exactly why Headley thought it wise, or exciting, or amusing, to dress the Mumbai attackers with one of the symbols of Hindu radicalism is not clear.  However, it did have the effect in the aftermath of the attacks of creating rumours that it was a false flag or false colours type of attack, inevitably picked up and propagated by infowars.  In a story only days after the massacre Alex Jones et al chose to blame Israel.  They have since done virtually nothing to continue investigating the Mumbai atrocity.  They did the exact same thing with the Norway massacre, initially claiming it was an Israeli false flag attack, and then proceeding to ignore the story completely. 

However, like Headley, Breivik built a false flag element into his attacks, carrying out the bombing and the shooting spree while dressed as a heavily armed policeman.  In his manifesto he included a section on storing equipment in 'remote caches', which is extremely reminiscent of the arms and equipment caches used as part of the Gladio stay-behind operations.  Breivik explains that:

You must also include a back pack which will allow you to carry the above equipment and warm clothing/a disguise (a police uniform with forged police insignia/ID, mustache, glasses and a police cap/hat). If you encounter anyone it will be easy to explain that you are in pursuit of the suspect (the news story which explains that you have escaped will therefore act to your benefit as it will give credibility to your cover story. This equipment/gear will allow you to get to safety so that you may be able to execute the bonus mission, in a scenario where you manage to escape from prison. You must also remember to properly conceal a shovel close to the storage location as you will use it to dig up the actual container when the time comes.

In another section on 'Applying deceptive means in urban guerrilla warfare' he says that:

Mask yourself. Either leave flamboyant traits behind, thus going incognito; or just masquerade yourself and create an illusion to fit your goals and distract others.
Create and wear a police combat uniform replica. Make serious efforts in recreating credible insignias, ID and marks. Study media pics of SWAT agents from your country. This will create confusion and hesitation when engaging hostile agents and should buy you at least 1-2 extra seconds. These extra seconds will give you the edge you need in order to neutralise any potential threat (2 head shots). The police illusion will also act as a deterrent towards preventing potential civilian charges.

There are numerous other references to wearing police uniforms, fake IDs, fake insignias.  Ironically, Breivik praises the Hindu nationalists, seeing them as 'allies' in the fight against Jihadis.  He explains that in his view:

PR and psychological Jihad
9/11, 7/7 London Bombings, Madrid bombings, Mumbai attack etc. The purpose of these attacks is to act as PR for Salafi Islam and/or for propagating Jihad. The main purpose of these attacks is to inflict psychological damage on the enemy and as a recruitment tool to other variants of Jihad.

It is here that we are presented once again with one of the most baffling questions about Breivik.  In his worldview, Muslims are conspiring with European Marxists to create Eurabia, a single European-Arab state populated entirely, or almost entirely, by Muslim Arabs.  He cites numerous examples of 'Jihad' and seeks out numerous opportunities in his manifesto to prove how widely read he is on the subject.  And yet, at no point does he even mention the possibility, let alone the reality, of Western covert sponsorship of Islamic radicalism and militancy.  The only references to the CIA in his manifesto are in passing, or to information in the CIA World Fact Book.  The only mentions of the British security services are to MI5's statistics on the threat from Islamic terrorism.  Despite his obvious knowledge of the media, politics, psychology and psychological warfare and special operations, he appears to have a huge gap in his knowledge when it comes to black and covert operations and the other actions of intelligence and security services. 

The styles of the attacks in Mumbai and Oslo/Utoya are also very similar.  While Breivik was supposedly acting alone and Headley sent in a Lashkar-e-Taiba gang to actually carry out the attacks, the results were a prolonged bombing and shooting rampage.  The method of violence, aimed at specific target groups but with the intent to simply kill as many people as possible, is quite rare in the history of terrorism.  Typically, the violence is a means to a political end or aim, whereas this maximum-casualty terrorism is one of the hallmarks of security service involvement. 

In essence, the philosophy behind this kind of terrorism is not about causing a particular political reaction, a shift to the Right or to the Left, for or against certain policies.  Instead, the aim is simply to use violence to create fear, and use the fear to justifty greater security.  Among the best examples were the Brabant massacres in Belgium in the 1980s.  Masked gunmen, just like Breivik and the Mumbai shooters, would simply turn up and start shooting people almost at random.  They sometimes stole money from the supermarkets and other locations for their massacres, but this was often found dumped. 

Rumours abound about connections between the Nijvel Gang who perpetrated the massacres and various neo-Nazi organisations, and various intelligence services.  What is known is that some of the weapons used in the massacres were stolen from a Belgian Gendarmerie arsenal.  When the Belgian parliament asked its investigative committee to explore the possibility of a link to Gladio, or more broadly to the military and intelligence services, the committee found no such link.

However, this was not for lack of trying.  The Belgian security services were told to co-operate, but clearly didn't think that was appropriate so they opted instead for a massive cover-up.  The names of those within the local Gladio units SDRA8 and STC/Mob were requested by the inquiry so they could look for possible connections to the Nijvel gang, the Westland New Post and the Front de la Jeunesse.  The security services refused.  The inquiry suggested that the names be revealed to a select panel of three judges, who would only share names with the inquiry if anyone were implicated in the Brabant killings.  The security services refused.  A further suggestion that just the dates of birth of the people in question could be given to the committee was also rejected. 

Along associated lines, both Breivik and Headley were the subject of 'intelligence failures', i.e. inquiries by the security services before the attacks happened that failed to prevent the attacks.  Several of Headley's wives and girlfriends told the FBI about his activities in Pakistan, his Islamic radicalism, and that he was either a spy or a terrorist (or both).  It appears that almost no action was taken as a result of these repeated warnings from different sources.

With Breivik the story is somewhat different.  His name turned up in an Interpol list given to the Norwegian authorities as part of Operation Global Shield - a programme set up to monitor sales of chemicals used in homemade explosives.  According to the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST), they had no other information on Breivik that would have caused them to appreciate his significance.  You can download the PST report on Breivik here (PDF 694KB), though it is in Norwegian and therefore requires a translator. 

There is also the wider question of the shift in perceived threat from Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic terrorism to white right-wing extremist terrorism, particularly the threat from so-called 'lone wolves'.  The PST report makes reference to a 2011 threat assessment that preceded Breivik's massacre that to some extent highlighted the radical Right lashing back against the Islamic immigration and emergence of Islamic hardline or radical groups. 

However, it was US intelligence agencies who managed to pre-empt this now perceived shift in threat, over two years before the 22/7 attacks.  An April 2009 Department of Homeland Security assessment titled 'Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment' is particularly apt.  You can download a copy here.  It notes:

Despite similarities to the climate of the 1990s, the threat posed by lone wolves and small terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years. In addition, the historical election of an African American president and the prospect of policy changes are proving to be a driving force for rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization.

It goes on to cite right wing lone wolf terrorists as the major threat to the US:

DHS 2009 lone wolf right wing

This idea then made it into the threat assessment for Obama's 2010 State of the Union address, which you can download here.  There are principally two ways of looking at these and similar documents from the years immediately prior to the 22/7 attacks.  First, one could say that they predicted the attacks, or at least the official version of the attacks, though they were talking about the US and not Norway.  The other possibility is that these reports were deliberately leaked to the press at the time in order to help stoke the fires and help generate the very phenomenon they were predicting.  After all, there's nothing a racist Right-wing extremist likes more than to feel he is being unfairly persecuted for being hate-filled. 

The type of attack, being so similar to that used in Mumbai in 2008, was also widely predicted.  The terror meme 'Mumbai-style attack' had largely replaced the previous favourite 'hallmarks of Al Qaeda', with near-constant predictions that a shooting rampage type of attack was imminent in Europe.  Of course, the implied culprits of these hypothetical attacks were always Islamic extremists, that is, no one saw the method of attack being used by a white Right-wing extremist. 

Indeed, in his manifesto Breivik is clearly not a fan of President Obama, referring to him as a part of a 'global cultural Marxist mafia', and talks of him bowing before the Saudi king.  He called on Angela Merkel to kick the US troops out of Germany - not a bad idea at all - in light of the 'limp wristed' Obama presenting such an opportunity for Europe to stand up against the US.  As such, his manifesto (which of course may not be his, at least not his alone) very closely fits the profile predicted by the DHS two years earlier. 

There is one final connection and parallel between David Headley and Anders Breivik.  They have both ended up in court.  Unlike many terrorists who are shot dead like most of the Mumbai perpetrators, or escaping into anonymity like the Brabant perpetrators, both of these men are alive and in public.  Their cases are somewhat different, in that Headley pleaded guilty and turned co-operator to avoid extradition to India and the probable death penalty, whereas Breivik is pleading not guilty and isn't really co-operating at all. 

However, both men are using the court system to their own advantage.  Breivik is using his trial, and will presumably use his resulting incarceration, as a platform for his beliefs and worldview.  Headley is using the court system to avoid extradition, to sell out his lifelong friend Tahawwur Rana, and (it seems) to disappear just like so many other assets of the security services.

With all these parallels, albeit with some signficant differences, one has to wonder whether Headley and Breivik are part of a new stage of the War on Terror.  The major wars in the Middle East are winding down and NATO foreign policy is focussing more on 'minor' wars based on 'humanitarian' grounds.  In looking for a new terrorist threat it is entirely possible that Western security services are resorting to the old method of the strategy of tension, a process of internal subversion and counter-subversion.  The result is invariably destabilisation and the advance of the security state.  So, are these the faces of the War on Terror version 2.00?

Anders Breivik David Headley

Related articles:

The Headley-Rana Drama

22/7: A Strategy of Tension?

The Prototype

Operation Gladio Document Collection