English Defence League’s man in Europe admits links to racist and violent groups
By Richard Orange | 29 March 2012
“What will Mr and Mrs England, who support the EDL, say when the news reaches the level of common knowledge?” – Allen Fibecker, Danish Defence League member
COPENHAGEN: Demark is the stage of the English Defence League’s first major European rally on Saturday. A teacher who is organising the event has links with racist groups, including one named after the Hitler Youth.
Philip Traulsen, 34, admitted co-founding the Danmarks Nationale Front, which argues on its website that Danish citizens of African and Arab origin have a lower average intelligence.
Exaro can also disclose that Traulsen attended an event held by Blood and Honour, a neo-Nazi group of violent skinheads who adopted the Hitler Youth motto as its name.
Saturdays “counter-jihad” rally in the Danish city of Aarhus is being promoted by the English Defence League (EDL) as the birth of a new European movement against Islam. Up to 1,000 supporters are expected. Anti-fascist groups are planning a counter-demonstration.
The EDL founder and former football hooligan, Stephen Lennon, predicted violence. “We shall not pander to threats and intimidation,” he said. “If we are attacked we shall fight back.”
The rally, involving EDL’s sister organisations from six European countries, takes place only three weeks before the trial of Anders Breivik, accused of being the Norwegian mass-murderer who shot 77 people dead last July.
The disclosures come just weeks after the EDL was forced to sack Kasper Mortensen, Traulsen’s predecessor at the Danish Defence League (DDL), who was jailed for assaulting a nightclub bouncer with an electric stun-gun.
Traulsen’s far-right links have been attacked by his organisation’s own members. One, Allen Fibecker, told Exaro: “As a Jew, I am his enemy.”
He added: “DDL promised to get rid of the well-known Nazi profiles. Instead of keeping their word, they spend all their time making excuses.
“That is going to hurt the EDL big time. What will Mr and Mrs England, who support the EDL, say when the news reaches the level of common knowledge?”
Steve Simmons, who is responsible for EDL’s relations with its international sister groups, forced Traulsen to write a statement explaining his far-right past when Exaro raised the issue.
“When I decided to fight for Denmark, I had an uncritical approach and contacted every group besides the Danish National Socialist Movement,” Traulsen admitted in a letter to Simmons.
He had stayed with the Danmarks Nationale Front, despite disagreeing with its overtly racist stance.
“Due to the lack of a different activist-minded group, me and some of my friends stayed until DNF evolved into largely a racialist group. DNF accepted every nationalist person, but the non-racist fraction got smaller and smaller.”
He confirmed to Exaro that he was still involved with the Danmarks National Front: “I have joined a lot of national groups, and I am in between a lot of groups.”
Traulsen said that his goal was to bring together all nationalist groups against Islam, regardless of whether they were racist or not. “I am trying to make a co-operation, so it is a unified Danish resistance,” he said.
He believed that the EDL had shown that racist ideas were “counter-productive”.
He admitted, however, that he had attended a Blood and Honour concert in 2008. “Yes, I was there,” he confirmed. “But that does not make me a racist. I have also been at a communist concert, and that did not make me a communist.”
Simmons claimed EDL carefully vetted those seeking to start up sister organisations in other countries.
“We check them out as best as we can to make sure that they are not linked to any neo-Nazi organisations, and if they are found to have any such links we turn them down,” he added.