Krekar back in court after ‘dream’ arrest

The arrest of Mullah Krekar could represent a dream scenario for the Kurdish Islamist convicted this week for issuing death threats, said terrorism researcher Magnus Ranstorp.

His stature would grow in extremist circles after he was apprehended on Tuesday in a raid on his home, Ranstorp said. But the Swedish terrorism expert added that the arrest did automatically equate to a heightened risk of terrorism in Norway.

“There have been similar situations in other countries, including Britain, without them leading to further violence. I'm sure the security police (PTS) are following this situation closely,” he told broadcaster NRK.  

Krekar will face a remand hearing on Wednesday morning at Oslo District Court. PST has asked for him to be held for eight weeks, while the mullah’s lawyers are calling for his immediate release.

Krekar was sentenced on Monday to five years in prison for issuing death threats against a former government minister and three Kurds living in Norway. He was released pending the outcome of an appeal.

Tuesday’s arrest came after it emerged that Krekar had issued further threats on an internet forum last weekend. If jailed, his followers would hold an unnamed Norwegian hostage in a cellar, Krekar said.

He also spoke of former government minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, claiming he knew where the Christian Democratic politician lived.

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