He signed his murder manifesto ‘Andrew Berwick’. Why an English name?
Perhaps because England has a ready audience of hate groups and neo-nazis. He denies he’s any sort of nazi, but the manifesto is an appeal to the same old foreigner-hating urges. Though if anything, he’s too conservative even for the British far right. The rant really is a form of Christian conservatism, but taken well past the point of parody. He’s against sex outside marriage – and marriage for love. It sounds like he’d be happier under a traditional Islamic regime than most Europeans.¹
When it comes down to it though, I believe he took this English name for no deeper reason than that it was his fantasy. To be a mediaeval English Knight Templar. A bizarre image of himself as semi-mythical hero that he took far too far. I have to be clear here; I’m not casting aspersions on genuine fantasy roleplayers. Those people dress up and act out fantasies for fun, they know they’re doing that. Berwick dressed up and acted out his fantasy for hate and evil. He was willing to commit murder based on stuff that he had basically just made up.
This is tragic. Innocent people died over stuff that Dan Brown wouldn’t use in a novel. Stuff that is, to be blunt, just silly. A Marxist plot to make Europe Islamic.
Has there never been a Muslim plan to take over Europe? Of course there has. Loads of them probably. Muslims have their fantasists too. There are no doubt counterparts to Sir Andrew composing their unhinged manifestos about how they will reconquer Spain or personally lay siege to Vienna right now. And though his claim to be a member of a covert organisation is in all probability self-delusion, there will be other Berwicks too. Hopefully none of these assholes is quite deranged enough to launch another act of pointless barbarism, but it’s not something we can bet on.
What I am willing to bet on is that Europe right now faces more danger from its racist, far-right murderers than it does from their pro-Islamic equivalent.
- In passing, his manifesto also contains a surprising amount about the the cultivation of sugar beet. It’s in the context of course of using it as a cover to obtain nitrates for explosives, but the level of detail seems excessive. I think he kind of got into it.