Iraqi mullah faces new charges in Norway

The Iraqi founder of the Iraqi Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam is being prosecuted in Norway for inciting terrorist acts, the public prosecutor's office said on Wednesday.

Iraqi mullah faces new charges in Norway
Photo: HÃ¥kon Mosvold Larsen/Scanpix (File)

Mullah Krekar, 56, whose real name is Najmeddine Faraj Ahmad, was sentenced to five years in jail in March for issuing death threats against a former government minister and others.

Krekar was found guilty of threatening the life of Erna Solberg, an ex-minister who signed his expulsion order in 2003 because he was considered a threat to national security.

Now, he faces three new charges of inciting terrorist acts, threatening witnesses in a case against him, and criminal damage.

"New charges have been filed. The indictment was ready yesterday (Tuesday)," prosecutor Marit Bakkevig told AFP.

Krekar, whose name is on terrorist lists drawn up by the United Nations and the United States, has avoided expulsion since the order was signed nine years ago since 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.

While Krekar acknowledges having co-founded Ansar al-Islam, which also figures on international lists of terrorist groups, in 2001, he insists he has not led the group since 2002.

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