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Norway Islamist arrested on terror charges

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Norway Islamist arrested on terror charges
Hussain will be held on remand for four weeks, an Oslo court decided on Thursday. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix
15:34 CET+01:00
In a closed-door hearing in Oslo, Ubaydullah Hussain was sentenced to be held on remand for four weeks as police investigate charges that he recruited jihadists and threatened witnesses in another case.

Terror suspect Ubaydullah Hussain, 30, has been arrested and charged with recruiting foreign fighters to the terror group Isis and several other offences, police said on Thursday. He was remanded on Thursday afternoon and will be held for four weeks as police continue their investigation.

The high-profile Islamist was arrested on December 8th because the Police Security Service (PST) believe he has been attempting to influence witnesses in the so-called Rolfsen case, according to Hussain’s lawyer John Christian Elden.

PST successfully argued for Hussain's detention on the grounds that there is a risk of destruction of evidence, and that Hussain could pressure witnesses to give evidence that is advantageous to him during his eventual trail.

The judge, however, ruled against PST's request to hold Hussain in isolation for the first two weeks of his custody.

Elden has stated that Hussain denies these allegations.

PST said that 30-year-old man is being charged with violating the criminal code sections 147d, 157 and 263.

"There were particular incidents over the weekend in which a witness felt threatened that made us feel it was completely necessary to arrest him now," police prosecutor Per Niklas Hafsmoe said.

Elden said that his client "denies the allegations" against him.

The so-called Rolfsen case revolves around filmmaker Ulrik Imitaz Rolfsen, who began working on films depicting the extremist Islamist environment in Østlandet. On June 8th, PST took action against an 18-year-old who was taking part in the films and against Rolfsen himself. 

The 18-year-old was arrested and held on remand while Rolfsen was forced to hand over material from his films. PST said that the films included important evidence that Hussain was actively recruiting foreign fighters for Isis but was not give access to the material because it is protected by Norway's laws on source protection. 

Hussain has also denied PST access to the raw film and said that he is the victim of a witch hunt. 

In October, the Oslo District Court dropped charges against Hussain for indirectly encouraging terrorism. 

Hussain had celebrated terror attacks on Facebook at on four different occasions. In addition, he posted a picture of convicted terrorists. He himself claims that his statements are protected by the Freedom of Speech act.
 
Hussain argued that he had "operated within the freedom of speech" and added that he doesn't relate to Norway's “political, secular laws” but only the laws of Allah.
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