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A Norwegian white power musician who already served time for murder and arson has been arrested in France on “suspicion he was preparing a major terrorist act.”

Kristian “Varg” Vikernes and his wife, Marie Cachet, were taken into custody early in the morning of July 16 at their farm near the town of Salon-la Tour in the Corrèze region of central France. The arrest was made by the Central Directorate of Internal Intelligence, who say they suspect him of “preparing a massacre.”

The French interior ministry said Vikernes constituted “a potential threat to society.” He was arrested in central France after his wife bought four rifles. Police officers searched their home for weapons and explosives. Officials say Vikernes’ wife had a legal firearms permit when she bought the four rifles.

Vikernes, a force in the National Socialist Black Metal scene thanks to the popularity of his one-man band Burzum and his outspoken bigotry, was convicted in 1994 of the brutal murder of the guitar player of black metal band Mayhem and burning down several churches. Vikernes was given Norway’s maximum 21-year sentence and released from prison in 2009 after serving 16 years. He was released in 2009 and moved to France with his wife and three children in early 2010.

For More on Vikernes and his role in the NSBM scene, see below.

Vikernes also received additional attention from French authorities when it was discovered that he was one of the 530 people who had received a copy of Norwegian mass-murderer Ander Breivik’s 1500-page manifesto. In July 2011, Breivik killed 77 people when he planted a bomb in central Oslo and went on a shooting spree on the nearby island of Utoeya. Breivik’s manifesto outlined his planned crusade against Muslims, who he said “were taking over Europe and could only be defeated through a violent civil war.”

On his website, Vikernes discussed Breivik’s manifesto, but criticized Breivik for killing more innocent Norwegians than Muslims. Vikernes accused Breivik of being a Zionist agent and “Christian loser.” On December 13, Vikernes wrote, “If you, dear European nationalists, really want to save Europe (as a biological term) you have to realise that the only thing to do is to cast aside all Christian other international nonsense and embrace only the European (i.e. Pagan) values and ideals and if you like the European deities as well. If you work for Christianity in any way you work for the Jews. Plain and simple.”

Vikernes had been settling into France and acclimating himself to French far-right politics. In a recent post he expressed wholehearted support for National Front leader Marine Le Pen.


From the Archives: Kristian “Varg” Vikernes and the National Socialist Black Metal Underground

The book, Soundtracks to the White Revolution: White Supremacist Assaults on Youth Music Subcultures, edited by IREHR’s Devin Burghart in 1999, delves deep into the depths of the National Socialist Black Metal (NSBM) scene and the Vikernes role in it. Essential reading to understanding NSBM and the many different variants of white power music. The chapters “Between Hitler and Satan: Norwegian Black Metal as a Spearhead for Racial Hatred” by S. Johansen and “Unholy Alliance: The National Socialist Black Metal Underground” by Justin Massa are particularly illuminating.


This article provides a look at the ties Vikernes had to American white nationalists. Published in January 2001 in Searchlight Magazine. Written by Burghart, Justin Massa, and the late Stieg Larsson of Expo. This expose destroyed plans to build a trans-national NSBM empire.


Devin Burghart

Author Devin Burghart

is vice president of IREHR. He coordinates our Seattle office, directs our research efforts, and manages our online communications. He has researched, written, and organized on virtually all facets of contemporary white nationalism since 1992, and is internationally recognized for this effort. Devin is frequently quoted as an expert by print, broadcast, and online media outlets. In 2007, he was awarded a Petra Foundation fellowship. more...

More posts by Devin Burghart