• First published in 2004 as Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion (BNOR).

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Oslo Police Prosecutor “Would Like to Speak To” Alan Lake

From Reuters:

Police in Oslo say they want to interview Alan Lake, whom they believe is a key figure in Britain’s anti-Islamist English Defence League EDL, to find out if he may have been an ideological source of inspiration to Breivik.

“Alan Lake is an obvious person we would like to speak to,” Oslo police prosecutor Paal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby told Reuters.

He added: “At this point in the investigation there is no indication that anyone knew about his (Breivik’s) plans.”

The English Defence League said in an email to Reuters that Lake had “absolutely nothing to do with the EDL”. Lake could not be reached for comment but has previously denied being a senior member of the EDL.

Breivik has claimed to have had a mentor named “Richard the Lionhearted”, and the prosecutor’s request has come just a few days after Norwegian police interviewed Paul Ray: Ray, who was one of the founders of the EDL before being sidelined, has an interest in Templarism and blogs under the name “Lionheart”.

More background comes from a Telegraph report from July:

…One group of individuals who do not doubt Richard exists are the past and present leaders of EDL.

When The Daily Telegraph contacted them this week, rather than dismissing “Richard” as a figment of Breivik’s imagination, they all began pointing the finger at each other. Stephen Lennon (who also calls himself Tommy Robinson) and Kevin Carroll, the current joint leaders of EDL, denied being Richard or ever having met Breivik, but Mr Lennon pointed to a blogger who uses the name “Lionheart”.

…Mr Ray denied being his mentor, or ever meeting him, saying he was approached online by Breivik but rejected his Facebook friend request because he “didn’t like the look of him”. Mr Ray also suggested that Breivik could have met Alan Lake, a businessman who is said to finance EDL and who has in the past been interviewed on Norwegian television. Mr Lake, in turn, denied knowing Breivik, and suggested Mr Ray was a more likely candidate.

In fact, neither Lake nor Ray were Breivik’s mentor, even if such a person really exists: I explained here why Ray couldn’t have been, and there is no evidence implicating Lake, who has no interest in “Templar” fetishism. These counter-accusations may seem farcical, but it should be remembered that they are clogging up an extremely serious and distressing police investigation.

The claim that Lake has “nothing to do with” the EDL requires further comment. According to a statement made by Lake in July:

I have merely given equipment worth a few hundred pounds… I am not, and never have been, part of EDL management.  I directed the speeches and music on stage at several demonstrations, and gave a few speeches myself… I am not currently involved with the EDL, and have not been for 6 months.

Lake was also commended by Rabbi Nachum Shifren for making links with individuals in the USA, and Ray claims that he played a strategic role in setting up the group:

Alan Lake must have forgotten that I was at that first meeting in London, inside his flat, alongside others.

The EDL officially repudiated Lake in August, after bad publicity arising from some of his statements:

What is true is that Alan Lake “DID” have a role in the EDL during its early formation. He has always jumped on the bandwagon of the EDL when in reality all he has ever done is bring shame on our movement…

As regular readers will also know, one of Lake’s associates is an on-line thug who regularly posts threats about me and spams this blog with abusive messages.