In an interview with the BNP deputy leader Simon Darby, Griffin claimed that the English Defence League was a "Zionist false flag operation", and added that the organisation is "a neo-con operation".  These included sectors of the US Tea Party movement; it affiliated with the US-based Stop Islamization of America run by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. , The sociologists Simon Winlow, Steve Hall and James Treadwell noted that all the EDL members they encountered expressed hatred of Muslims. , The EDL is part of the international "counter-jihad" movement. , Some divisions were based on locality and others on special interests. , The EDL focused on organising demonstrations: between 2009 and 2015, it held an average of between ten and fifteen demonstrations per year, attracting crowds of between 100 and 3000.  The political scientist Hilary Aked defined counter-jihadism as "a section of the far-right distinguished by its hostility to migrants, Muslims and Islam.  Pilkington found that EDL members had rarely been raised in "stable, strong and protective environments", that accounts of sexual abuse and violence in childhood were somewhat common, and that a number had been raised by grandparents or in foster care. Find more data about englishdefenceleague.  Police reported that EDL activities hampered their own counter-terror operations among British Muslim communities. Political scientists and other commentators have characterised this Islamophobic stance as culturally racist. , Winlow, Hall, and Treadwell argued that the EDL's growth among the white working-class reflected how this sector of society—which had predominantly aligned with the political left during the 20th century—was increasingly shifting to the far-right in the early 21st. The combination of a deeply anti‐Muslim political agenda and populist ultrapatriotism, powered by grass‐roots critiques of mainstream politics, has been a core component of The method used to hack into the websites is still unknown but we do know the hackers may be from the middle east as they left pro-Palestinian messages on the English Defence League website:  Members are often keen to stress that they have ethnic minority friends and family members as a means of countering accusations of racism, adopting the view that "lack of racism towards one group is assumed to be evidence of lack of racism against all". – Luit – Hex00010 – p0ison.org " Ray was critical of his successor, and—from his new base in Malta—posted videos to YouTube in which he threatened to retake control of the EDL.  Some also described violent clashes as the best way to draw media attention to their cause, and presented their violence as being heroic.  Breivik described EDL co-founder Ray as his "mentor", having been in communication with him since 2002.  Online, various leftist websites played a role in monitoring the EDL's activities.  Splinter groups appeared, among them the North West Infidels, North East Infidels, South East Alliance and Combined Ex-Forces. , Copsey noted that the "overwhelming majority" of attendees at EDL demonstrations were "young, white, working-class males".