“On Saturday night, a group of 14 men wearing black coats bearing the insignia of the Soldiers of Odin spent three hours walking the streets of Tønsberg in southern Norway. This marked the first appearance in Norway of the self-proclaimed ‘patriot’ group that has been at the centre of controversy in Finland.
Named after the Norse god, the Soldiers of Odin have been active in Finland since late 2015, patrolling public streets of Kemi, some 30km from the border town of Tornio, which serves as a major crossing point for asylum seekers.
The group calls itself “a patriotic organisation that fights for a white Finland” and says its patrols are meant to scare away “Islamist intruders” that the group says “cause insecurity and increase crime”.
The first Norwegian incarnation of the group said it was out in Tønsberg because “we just want it to be safe in the city” in the face of “out of control” immigration, spokesman Ronny Alte told VG.
Local newspaper Tønsbergs Blad reported that among the 14 Soldiers of Odin were well-known members of the extreme far-right including some who have criminal records. “