Christian Høibø

Christian Høibø

A police infiltrator has broken his cover and spoken out about his role in breaking up social movements which were working towards political change.

The undercover agent goes by the name of Christian Høibø, and recently hit the headlines after he was exposed as a spy who infiltrated several progressive groups during the course of his career.

Høibø says he was an informant for the Politiets Sikkerhetstjeneste (PST), Norway’s federal security agency, similar to the FBI for 10 years and also infiltrated groups such as the International Socialists (IS), as well as Blitz, a protest group.

As an infiltrator, Høibø repeatedly tried to persuade members to provoke trouble with the police by confronting them physically, in the hope that this would give the police an excuse to arrest and detain members of these activist group.

He was exposed by a documentary in Norway called Focal Point, after which both Høibø and the Norwegian security services were forced to admit their role in infiltrating innocent protest groups.

At one point, he was apparently arrested for inciting such trouble on many occasions, but never got charged due to intervention by the PST. He says the PST encouraged such activity.

He was also convicted of making fire bombs, known as Molotov cocktails in Norway, but later had his conviction quashed, when his employers intervened.

Høibø’s ties to the oil industry and the government have also been laid bare. On a trip to the annual conference organised by Britain’s Socialist Workers Party, he tried to gather information and took along a travel partner, who was a bogus IS member and prominent historian who has written books in support of the oil industry and imperialism.

Another travel partner included a former president of one of the major unions in the Norwegian oil industry.

In an interview with the Norwegian Dagbladet newspaper, Høibø was reported as saying [translated from Norwegian]: “ I have had relatively free limits when it came to identifying a threat, and the road has been a little more while I’m gone. Exactly what directives the PST gives, they will however comment upon themselves.”

But Høibø’s intriguing list of contacts doesn’t end there. Subsequent to his infiltration of the activist left, he also participated in organizing the Norwegian Defense League (NDL) – which is a racist and anti-immigrant group, similar to the English Defence League in the UK.

This certainly raises further questions about the damaging effect of Høibø’s and the PST’s activities.

Two years ago, 83 people were murdered by Anders Behring Breivik, a former supporter of the NDL.

However infiltration of activists has a longstanding history in Norway. In the 1990s, the Lund Commission published an official report to parliament, which showed how the security agencies in the country used informers within the labor movement, as well as wiretaps, to spy on anything considered to be “subversive” after the second World War.

It was always suspected that the authorities in Europe used provocateurs within the movements to justify crackdowns on demonstrators, most notably in Genoa, Italy, in 2001, when Carlo Giuliani was killed by police. The implication of Høibø’s story is that the same was happening in Norway.

Even though the PST confirms that Høibø was an important source of information to them, they refute allegations that they have received membership records.
The Monitoring and Security (EOS) Agency in Norway are said to be investigating the case.

But Norway is not the only country where police have infiltrated left-leaning or environmental groups. England has had its own share of police spies too. Mark Kennedy hit the headlines in 2011 after it emerged that spent seven years infiltrating green protest groups, first as a police officer and then as a freelance spy.

Kennedy spent £1.75 million of taxpayers money as a bogus climate change activist and an agent provocateur, actively encouraging the behaviour he was meant to stop.

He was part of a police spy network known as the secretive National Public Order Intelligence Unit that runs a database of political activists. They told him to grow his hair long, pierce an ear and acquire a few tattoos.

During his career, he formed sexual relationships with a number of female activists, and ensured that the groups faced repeated raids and arrests. He was also said to have operational influence over German and Danish police.

His actions were very similar to that Lynn Watson who was also involved in a number of women’s peace camps and joined environmental groups in Leeds. She was known to be “camera shy” and helped to cause a number of splits and divisions within some of the groups she was involved in, as well as being the reason behind many raids and arrests of group members.

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