Kristian 'Varg' Vikernes in prison (WikiCommons)

Norwegian neo-Nazi black metal musician Kristian 'Varg' Vikernes has been arrested in France over fears that he may have been preparing a "major terrorist act", according to the interior ministry.

Vikernes, 40, who is also a convicted murderer and has links to Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, was detained after his wife bought four rifles in the central city of Salon-la-Tour.

Far-right militant Breivik, who killed 77 people in a bombing in central Oslo and a shooting spree on nearby island Utoya in July 2011, sent a copy of his ideological manifesto to Vikernes, according to the Paris prosecutor's office.

"That was at 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.

Vikernes is considered a trailblazer of the early Norwegian black metal scene of the early 1990s with the pseudonym Burzum. He also collaborated with black metal band Mayhem.

In 1992, the musician took part in arson attacks on at least three Christian churches in Norway, along with other members of the musical scene. The year after, Vikernes was accused of stabbing to death Mayhem guitarist Øystein 'Euronymous' Aarseth. In 1994, he was sentenced to 21 years in prison for the murder of Euronymous and the arson of churches.

The musician was released on parole in early 2009. Through his writings, Vikernes promotes what he calls Odalism, a nationalist ideology that combines Norse mythology with racism and occult Nationalist Socialism. The Encyclopedia of White Power describes him as "busy promoting his Odinist and National Socialist philosophy from behind bars"

Breivik's 1,500-page manifesto outlined his planned crusade against Muslims, who he said were taking over Europe and could only be defeated through a violent civil war.