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Jelle van Buuren Discusses Terrorist Tobias R. in Dutch Newspaper Reformatorisch Dagblad

On Wednesday 19 February, terrorist Tobias R. shot nine people with a migrant background in Germany. One of the perpetrator's motives was xenophobia. But despite that, we should not try to label perpetrator Tobias R., according to Dr. Jelle van Buuren. Van Buuren is an expert on extreme right activism and gave his opinion on the writings of Tobias R. in Dutch newspaper het Reformatorisch Dagblad.

Psychiatric problems

'Someone with psychiatric problems can also be an extreme right activist', says Dr. Jelle van Buuren, Assistant Professor at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs of Leiden University. Terrorist Tobias R.'s narratives are not very logical or coherent. 'The man writes racist texts. Politically, he can be found in the extreme right corner. At the same time, his manifesto is riddled conspiracy theories. On top of that, Tobias R. is most likely paranoid. He claims to have been under surveillance by intelligence services for his entire life. His brilliant ideas have supposedly been stolen by others. Everything seems to indicate that this man was suffering from psychiatric problems.' Despite that, Van Buuren believes that it is not right to label Tobias R. as, for instance, a extreme right activist. That is not the essence of the incident and the debate.


When asked whether there are similarities between Tobias R. and Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway, Van Buuren responds that in a certain sense both cases are unique but that there are definitely similarities to be found: 'Both men shared some sort of political manifesto with all kinds of conspiracy theories. Anders Breivik was greatly inspired by ideas from the extreme right alt-right movement. The personal stories told by both terrorists are also another similarity.' As well as sharing a hatred for women, that according to Van Buuren, is commonly associated with the alt-right movement. Followers of this movement are opposed to LHBT-rights and believe feminists are a curse to society.

You can read the full article (in Dutch) on the website of newspaper 'het Reformatorisch Dagblad.

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