July 26, 2011 -- Though Anders Breivik is in custody for allegedly going on a mass bombing and shooting spree that claimed at least 76 lives in Norway Friday, he claims the threat of violence is not over and reaches far beyond Europe.
He is willing to offer information to police about two other active "cells" of his organization in Europe and several others abroad in exchange for better prison conditions, a police prosecutor told ABC News today.
But according to Norwegian investigators and U.S.-based fringe group databases, such a group may only exist in Breivik's head.
The New Knights Templar
Breivik has confessed to carrying out a bombing in Oslo, which killed 8, and then a shooting rampage at a liberal political youth camp on nearby Utoya island that took another 68 lives. According to a meticulous 1,500-page online manifesto, Breivik believes his attack is just the beginning of a European Christian conservative revolution, led by members of the new Knights Templar, against Muslim integration in Europe.
Breivik, who in the manifesto calls himself a Justiciar Knight Commander in the organization, claims that in 2008 there are anywhere from 15 to 80 others with his rank in the group in Western Europe alone. Breivik said the Knights Templar organization, heir to a famed group of Crusades-era Christian knights, was resurrected in 2002 in London by representatives from several European countries to "seize political and military control of Western European multiculturalist regimes."
Breivik planned on a 60-plus year struggle against mutliculturalism until the Knights would take control over Europe. One of the order's primary weapons, Breivik writes, is the use of one-man terror cells.
"Chop-chop <3 For those of you who does [sic] not want to wait this long, should immediately ordinate yourself as a Justiciar Knight for the KT [Knights Templar]," he writes. "Any self-appointed Justiciar Knight has been given the authority by [Knights Templar]... to act as a judge, jury and executioner until the free, indigenous peoples of Europe are no longer threatened by cultural genocide."
But anyone appointing themselves Justiciar Knights may be joining a fictitious group.
Hate Group Expert: Templar Knights 'Not Known to Exist at All Anymore'
Norweigian police said they have no information on such a group. A modern version of the Knights Templar does not appear in public databases kept by the National Counter-Terrorism Center or the Southern Poverty Law Center, a private group dedicated to tracking hate groups.
"[The Knights Templar order] is not known to exist at all anymore," Southern Poverty Law Center director Mark Potok told ABC News. "There are endless conspiracy theories about the Knights Templar still operating out there. But there's nothing to suggest that it's real."
A lawyer for Breivik, Geir Lippestad, told reporters today that his client appears to be "insane" and the court plans to appoint a psychologist to make recommendations. Spokesmen for Interpol and Britain's Home Office declined to comment for this report, citing an ongoing investigation.
Regardless of whether the Knights Templar exist in any capacity today, Breivik also claims in the manifesto to have "brothers and sisters" in the U.S. and all over Europe in very real, well-known organizations, including hundreds of friends in the English Defence League.
In their official statement, the English Defence League said it is a "peaceful and patriotic" organization and their group has never had any official contact with Breivik.
"No form of terrorism can ever be justified and the taking of innocent lives can never be justified," the EDL said.