American white supremacist Greg Johnson was arrested in Norway just hours before a planned appearance at a far-right conference over fears his “hate speech” could trigger violence, according to an official.
Martin Bernsen, a spokesman for Norway’s domestic security agency, told CNN that Johnson was considered a threat, “not because of what he could do but because of his hate speech and his previously expressed support” for mass killer Anders Behring Breivik. Breivik killed 77 people, including dozens of teenagers, in an attack on a youth camp in 2011.
Johnson, the editor-in-chief of the white nationalist Counter-Currents Publishing organization, planned to speak Saturday at the Scandza Forum in Oslo. The conference is known for its right-wing and anti-Semitic positions.
Johnson’s attorney, John Christian Elder, told a member of Counter-Currents that Johnson was in custody under Norway’s Alien Act because he was considered an “extremist” threat to national security. Counter-Currents confirmed Johnson’s arrest on Twitter, but said it was for “thought crime.”
Johnson insisted that his quotes about Breivik were “taken out of context.” He wrote on the publication’s website: “I have always consistently condemned violence and terrorism.”
In writings and talks, Johnson has declared the “organized Jewish community” to be the “principal enemy.” According to a report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, he also claims interracial dating is a tragedy and says America would be improved by “fewer blacks, Asians and Mestizos.”
Norwegian authorities plan to deport Johnson as “quickly as possible,” said Bernsen.
“We have no interest in keeping him here,” he added.