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Oslo airport stops tourist with ‘terrorist name’

A Swedish man set to take off on his "dream holiday" to Mexico was turned away before boarding, as Oslo flight officials claimed he shared the name of a wanted terrorist.

“I was told that I couldn’t board the flight,” Abdifateh Ahmed Mohamed told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

“They said I was a terrorist. I’ve never been suspected of a crime in my whole life."

When he was detained on Monday, it wasn't the first time that Mohamed, 30, has met with problems at international border controls.

This time it was border police at Gardermoen Airport that delayed the processing of his ticket.

After a call to the United States, a decision was made that he would not be allowed to board the flight, according to Aftonbladet.

Mohamed's two travelling companions, who were allowed to continue, had to leave him behind. Airport personnel recommended him to contact the American Embassy in Oslo, where staff said they were unable to help him.

Stranded in the Norwegian capital, Mohamed had little option but to take a flight back to Arlanda Airport in Sweden.

“We’d planned the trip for so long. I was so damn irritated. What can I do? I feel powerless and offended,” he told Aftonbladet.

“My friends who don’t have Muslim names can go straight through while I am taken into a room by the side of the desk. I am actually thinking about getting rid of the name ‘Ahmed’ as it’s always that bit which causes problems,” said Mohamed, who works for the Swedish Migration Board.

It is unclear why American officials got involved in the case, as the passenger was heading elsewhere.

“As the traveller wasn’t travelling to, or through, the United States, this case shouldn’t have had anything to do with American authorities,” Chris Dunnett at the US Embassy in Stockholm told Aftonbladet.

The FBI has had the Egyptian terrorist Ahmed Mohammed Hamed Ali on its most wanted list ever since the 1998 US embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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ISLAM

Mullah Krekar jailed again for Norway threats

Mullah Krekar, the founder of a radical Iraqi Kurdish Islamist group, has been sentenced to a year in jail in Norway for issuing threats against Norwegians, an Oslo court announced on Wednesday.

Mullah Krekar jailed again for Norway threats
Mullah Krekar in court earlier this month (Photo: Anette Karlsen/Scanpix)

The 56-year-old mullah, who founded the Ansar al-Islam group and who has lived in Norway since 1991, has already been given a five year prison sentence for threatening the life of a former government minister.

The court found Krekar, whose real name is Najmeddine Faraj Ahmad, guilty of calling for violent acts if he was convicted at his first trial five months ago.

On the chat forum www.paltalk.com, Krekar warned on March 24th that his conviction could lead to "a suicide operation" or random attacks on Norwegians by his supporters, suggesting possible kidnappings and hinting that Norway's former prime minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik, could be a target.

Two days later, Krekar was jailed for five years for making death threats and calls to murder, including a death threat against ex-minister Erna Solberg who signed his expulsion order in 2003 because he was considered a threat to national security.

This latest conviction also covers witness coercion during his first trial and the sentence is to be served consecutively.

The prosecution had called for an 18-month prison sentence, while the defence wanted him acquitted, arguing that his statements were not threats but a reminder of the rules of Islam.

Krekar is, like his organisation, on terrorist lists drawn up by the United Nations and the United States. While he acknowledges having co-founded Ansar al-Islam, he insists he has not led the group since 2002.

He has avoided expulsion since the order was signed nine years ago because Norwegian law prevents him from being deported to Iraq until his safety can be guaranteed and as long as he risks the death penalty there.

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