Kristian 'Varg' Vikernes was arrested in southwestern France earlier today (Tuesday) after his wife bought four rifles, raising suspicions he could become violent, the Paris prosecutor's office said.
The police suspect the Norwegian national of planning a 'massacre' and searched his house for weapons and explosives. His wife, a French national and a member of a shooting club, had recently legally purchased four rifles.
The anti-terrorist prosecutor has been put in charge of the investigation. In a statement, the French Ministry of the Interior deemed him "likely to prepare a large-scale act of terrorism".
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In 1991, Vikernes founded the one-man music project Burzum and became part of the early Norwegian black Metal scene.
In 1992, he took part in the arson of at least three Christian churches in Norway, along with other members of the scene.
By early 1993, Vikernes had recorded four albums as Burzum and another with fellow black Metal band Mayhem. When Mayhem guitarist Øystein 'Euronymous' Aarseth was stabbed to death in August that year, Vikernes was arrested and charged with the murder.
In May 1994, Vikernes was sentenced to 21 years in prison for the murder of Euronymous and the arson of churches, the maximum sentence under Norwegian law.
During his time in prison he became affiliated with the Heathen Front and had several writings on Germanic paganism published. He also recorded and released two dark ambient albums as Burzum.
Having served almost 15 years of his sentence, Vikernes was released on parole in early 2009 and moved to France with his wife and three children. Since then, he has continued releasing music and writing.
Vikernes, a vocal neo-Nazi sympathiser, had reportedly received a copy of the manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik, the far-right terrorist responsible for the July 2011 Oslo bombing and Utoeya Massacre which left 77 dead. Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in jail for terrorism on August 2012.
"Breivik senndig a copy of a manifesto setting out his ideology to Vikernes", an official at the prosecutor's office said. "That was the origin of the investigation. There were several suspicions that made the services fear he could possibly carry out a violent act," the official said.
On his website, Vikernes discusses Breivik's manifesto, but also criticises him for killing innocent Norwegians.
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