Extremist arrested over Islamist threat video

Police have arrested 26-year-old Islamic extremist Mohyeldeen Mohammad in connection with a hate-filled video posted to YouTube in mid-January that called for Allah to destroy members of the Norwegian government and royal family.

Extremist arrested over Islamist threat video
Photo: Trond Reidar Teigen/Scanpix (File)

Norway’s domestic intelligence service, PST, announced on Twitter on Wednesday that it had made its second arrest in the case.

Mohammad’s lawyer, John Christian Elden, confirmed that his client had been apprehended and charged with threatening state officials.  

“He denies committing an offence and says it’s paradoxical that the security police have arrested him for his part in a demonstration that was protected by Oslo police,” Elden told news agency NTB.

The video was posted to a Facebook page calling for Norwegian troops to leave Afghanistan. Its appearance heightened tensions surrounding an anti-war demonstration due to be held outside the Oslo parliament just days later.

Amid huge media interest, the demonstration eventually passed off without major incident.

Last week, Mohammad drew the ire of the authorities with a message posted on the Facebook wall of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, newspaper VG reports. The message read:

“To: Jens KAFIR Stoltenberg Enemy of Allah, mass murderer and terrorist! Pull the soldiers out of Afghanistan! Allah will punish you for your misdeeds, may you burn in Hell for all eternity!”

Mohyeldeen Mohammad has admitted to publishing the message on Stoltenberg’s wall.

Elden said he had no comment to make on his client’s Facebook posting.

“He hasn’t been charged over that, and I stay well away from his politics,” said the lawyer.

Mohammad previously caused outrage in 2010 with comments made after the publication in Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet of a caricature of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.

“Maybe we’ll have a 9/11 or 7/7 on Norwegian soil. This is not a threat, but a warning,” he said.

A 21-year-old old man from Skien, south-eastern Norway, remains in custody after his earlier arrest in connection with the contentious video.

The man, a Norwegian citizen with a Central American family background, was arrested at his home in the town on January 20th by officers from the Telemark police service and the PTS.

He faces charges of threatening state officials and incitement to terrorism.

In the video, images of Crown Prince Haakon, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre are accompanied by a song in Arabic that contains the words: “Oh Allah, destroy them, and let it be painful”.

The clip, which is just over four minutes long, also features pictures of Norwegian soldiers and injured children. It ends with the sound of an explosion and a picture of a Norwegian vehicle in flames.

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Kongsberg attacker killed victims with ‘sharp object’

Norwegian police said Monday that the five victims of last week's attack were killed by a "sharp object" used by the suspect, not a bow and arrows.

The Kongsberg attacker is said to have killed five people with sharp objects. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident.
The Kongsberg attacker is said to have killed five people with sharp objects. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident. Photo by Søren Storm Hansen on Flickr.

“At some point he discarded or lost his bow and arrows,” police inspector Per Thomas Omholt told reporters.

He said that during the attack on Wednesday the suspect killed “five people with a sharp object both in private addresses and in public spaces”.

Police, who had previously said that the suspect Espen Andersen Brathen was armed with a bow and arrows and two other weapons, did not specify the nature of the sharp weapons, adding that they were still interviewing witnesses.

“Everything points to the victims being selected at random,” Omholt said.

According to the police, more than 10 people were also shot at with arrows at the start of the attack, but none were killed with this weapon.

READ MORE: Norway police query Kongsberg attacker’s Muslim faith

During police questioning, Brathen has confessed to the killings and to wounding three others.

The 37-year-old Danish citizen has announced publicly that he is a convert to Islam and initially police reported that there had been fears of radicalisation.

He is however being kept in a medical facility pending a psychiatric evaluation, which is necessary to determine whether Brathen can be held legally responsible for his actions.

“As far as motive is concerned, illness remains the main hypothesis. And as far as conversion to Islam is concerned, this hypothesis is weakened,” Omholt added.

On Saturday, police announced the identities of the five victims, four women and one man: Andrea Meyer, 52, Hanne Merethe Englund, 56, Liv Berit Borge, 75, Gunnar Erling Sauve, 75 and Gun Marith Madsen, 78.