• Norway edition
 

Al-Qaeda's Norwegian 'was left-wing radical'

Published: 05 Jul 2012 17:06 GMT+02:00
Updated: 05 Jul 2012 17:06 GMT+02:00

The 33-year-old Norwegian now being hunted by a slew of international intelligence agencies associated in his youth with Oslo’s far-left Blitz movement, newspaper Dagbladet reports.

Despite his one-time radical credentials, he later worked as a child minder at a daycare centre in Oslo, the city where he was born and raised, and did not have a history of violence, the paper said.

He eventually became a member of the Green Party, according to the newspaper.

A source close to the suspect said he came to be viewed as an easily-led conspiracy theorist after the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001.

His ideological priorities shifted after he married the daughter of a diplomat from a North African country, the paper said.

In 2008, he converted to Islam. He then underwent a change of lifestyle, giving up alcohol and breaking off almost all contact with his earlier friends.

He recently became a father, Dagbladet said, adding that his wife had travelled to her home country with their child.

Peter Neumann, a Professor of Security Studies at King’s College in London, said it was “not surprising” that the terrorist-in-waiting had sympathized with groups on the far-left.

“Converts are often on the look-out for something to which they can dedicate themselves, and they like to experiment with radical environments. They seek out a strong ideology that gives them meaning and structure,” Neumann said.

“In Norway, converting to Islam is probably one of the most rebellious things you can do,” he added.

Neumann further noted that western converts, aside from women who converted when marrying Muslim men, were overrepresented among jihadists.

The Sunday Times said Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) had recruited the Norwegian Muslim convert and given him terrorist training in Yemen, and that the group were believed to have selected a US passenger jet as a target.

"The Norwegian recruit goes under the Islamic name of Muslim Abu Abdurrahman," the newspaper said.

He recently spent several months in Yemen to complete his training, the paper said.

Intelligence services in Norway last week said the 33-year-old remained in Yemen and cannot be extradited as it is not a crime under Norwegian law to attend a terrorist training camp.

Sources from three European intelligence agencies told The Associated Press, which broke the story, that the man was “operational” and ready to strike.

The Local/NTB/AFP (news@thelocal.no)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway
The vintage tractor ready to travel from UK to North Norway. Photo: Peter Matheson

Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway

A 50-year-old British man is set next month to drive from Scotland to the northern tip of Norway on a vintage tractor to raise money for a cancer charity. READ  

Norwegian and SAS cancel flights to Israel
Israel is out of bounds for travellers on Norwegian and SAS flights. Photo: Panoramic view of Tel-Aviv beach Shutterstock

Norwegian and SAS cancel flights to Israel

Norway's two biggest airlines have cancelled Scandinavian flights to and from Israel, on Tuesday, as fears mount for the security of passengers and staff. READ  

GALLERY: Anniversary of Oslo mass murder
Government ministers gather in Oslo to remember the 2011 massacre victims. Photo: Vegard Grøtt / NTB scanpix

GALLERY: Anniversary of Oslo mass murder

Politicians joined the people of Norway to remember the 2011 terror attack in Oslo and Utøya on Tuesday. READ  

Breivik 'now opposes violence': lawyer
Anders Behring Breivik in court after his sentence announced in 2012. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix.

Breivik 'now opposes violence': lawyer

Mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik said he does not support the use of violence anymore, on Tuesday, the third anniversary of the July 22nd massacre in Norway. READ  

3 years on: Norway remembers Utøya

3 years on: Norway remembers Utøya

Many people across Norway will honour the victims of the July 22nd 2011 attack on Oslo and the island of Utøya. READ  

Kare Ingebrigtsen signs as new Rosenborg coach
Kåre Ingebrigtsen (left) and Erik Hoftun (right) make up Rosenborg's new managerial team. Photo: Ned Alley / NTB scanpix

Kare Ingebrigtsen signs as new Rosenborg coach

Rosenborg have employed Kåre Ingebrigtsen as their new club manager to replace Per Joar Hansen who was fired on Monday. READ  

Thrill-seekers in carousel ride terror
View from the Air Lift ride in Kongeparken, near Stavanger. Photo: wongsin Flickr

Thrill-seekers in carousel ride terror

A carousel at an amusement park near Stavanger stopped due to an electrical failure, leaving 20 people helpless over 30 meters above ground on Monday. READ  

Rosenborg sack boss Per Joar Hansen
Per Joar Hansen: No longer Rosenborg's head coach. Photo: Vegard Grøtt / NTB scanpix

Rosenborg sack boss Per Joar Hansen

Norwegian football club Rosenborg fired coach Per Joar Hansen on Monday after defeat in a Europa League qualifying match. READ  

Prince Haakon of Norway celebrates 41st birthday
Crown Prince Haakon and family pose on Dvergsøya, Kristiansand. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix.

Prince Haakon of Norway celebrates 41st birthday

Crown Prince Haakon of Norway marked his 41st birthday on Dvergsøya, Kristiansand on Sunday. READ  

Tour de France: Kristoff wins stage 15
A second stage victory of Tour de France 2014 for Norwegian Alexander Kristoff. Photo: Shutterstock

Tour de France: Kristoff wins stage 15

Norwegian Alexander Kristoff won stage 15 of the Tour de France and his second victory in the competition on Sunday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
National
Norway lifts Segway ban
Culture
GALLERY: Ten great songs about Norway
Society
Høie promises to reform sex change law
Education
Norway fjord invaded by monster jellyfish
Culture
VIDEO: Norwegian anti-Facebook film goes viral
Culture
Norway pop duo hits number 4 on US charts
Sport
Norway fan wins big on Suarez bite bet
National
Solberg 'most chatty' leader on Twitter
Culture
British Airways takes 'Slow TV' to the skies
International
Top Norway lawyers back Snowden Nobel
Society
Buy your own Viking warship for just €160,000
Politics
Norway PM beats Candy Crush level 300
Culture
Norway sticks with fårikål as national dish
International
Cold bathing craze leads to teen death
Society
Sweden threatens to 'annex' the ostehøvel
National
Baby squirrels survive cat attack
Society
Norway's 'cushy' prisons spurring foreign cons
National
Half Norwegians overweight: Gates study
International
VIDEO: Jagland doing press-ups in Donetsk
Business & Money
Striking Norway barbers: 'Let your hair grow'
Culture
Rihanna 'hard to please', Norway's Stargate reveal
International
What do Norwegians really think of Swedes?
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

334
jobs available