French authorities have released a Norwegian neo-Nazi musician with links to mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik two days after he was arrested on suspicion of plotting a “major terrorist act.” On Thursday, the officials said that they had found no evidence of a terrorist plot in their inspections of Kristian ‘Varg’ Vikernes. Vikernes along with his wife was arrested in southwestern France after his wife bought four rifles, the Paris prosecutor's office said on Tuesday. The suspect’s French wife was released on Wednesday. The French Interior Ministry said on Tuesday that Vikernes constituted "a potential threat to society." French Interior Minister Manuel Valls also said that the police suspected that Vikernes may have been planning a “massacre” and searched his house for weapons and explosives. Driven by his fascist and anti-Islamic beliefs, Breivik killed 77 people in a car bomb attack on government buildings in Oslo and a shooting rampage on Utoeya Island on July 22, 2011. It was Norway's worst massacre since World War II. Last year, Breivik was given a 21-year prison sentence, which is the maximum penalty in Norway. According to an official at the prosecutor's office, Breivik sent a copy of a manifesto setting out his ideology to Vikernes before the attacks.
“Having received the manifesto before (Breivik) committed his crimes and having been sentenced in Norway in the past for murder, this individual, who was close to a neo-Nazi movement, was likely to prepare a large terrorist act,” Valls added.In 1991, Vikernes established the one-man music project Burzum and became part of the early Norwegian black metal scene. In 1992, he along with other members of the scene burned down at least three Christian churches in Norway. Between 1992 and 1993, Vikernes recorded four albums as Burzum and another with black metal band Mayhem. Shortly after Mayhem guitarist Oystein 'Euronymous' Aarseth was stabbed to death in August 1993, Vikernes was arrested and charged with the murder. After being convicted of the murder of Euronymous, the arson of three churches, the attempted arson of a fourth church, and theft and storage of explosives, Vikernes was sentenced to 21 years in prison in May 1994. While serving time in prison, he became affiliated with the Heathen Front and several of his writings on Germanic paganism were published. He also recorded two dark ambient albums in prison, which also went on sale at the time. In 2009, Vikernes was released and moved to France with his wife and three children. IA/MHB