Mullah Krekar - Krekar in Norway - Proceedings Against Krekar

Proceedings Against Krekar

In August 2002, while Krekar was in Iraq, the Norwegian government revoked his refugee status on the grounds that he had traveled back to his homeland and spent long periods there.

Krekar was arrested in the Netherlands at Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam in September 2002, after Iran denied him entry and sent him back to Europe. He was interviewed by FBI agents (at Krekar's request, in an attempt to clear his and his group's name); no extradition request was made. He was deported to Norway in January 2003.

In February 2003 the Norwegian government ordered Krekar to be deported to Iraq, but as of July 2009 the order had not been implemented because of the security environment in Iraq, and the risk that Krekar could face the death penalty there, as Norway will not deport people in these circumstances. Krekar has unsuccessfully challenged the expulsion order in court, with the order being confirmed in September 2005. Norway's government has said that the new government to be elected in Iraq in December 2005 might permit discussion on whether Krekar's expulsion order can be implemented.

On March 21, 2003 his arrest was ordered by Økokrim, the Norwegian law enforcement agency for financial crime, to ensure he did not leave the country while accusations that he had financed terrorist attacks using Norway as a base were investigated. Court proceedings against Krekar were however dropped when it proved impossible to prove his connections with the terrorist attacks staged in Iraq by Ansar al-Islam during his leadership. His term as leader ended.

The United States government has declared Ansar al-Islam a terrorist group, but Krekar denies that it was during the time he headed it, and says he no longer does. While Krekar has not been found guilty of anything, a number of his opinions have met little sympathy; he was once recorded claiming that Osama bin Laden is the "jewel in the crown of Islam". and that he was proud of what Abu Musab al-Zarqawi "has done and that he has become a martyr".

In September 2005 the Iraqi Justice Minister Abdel Hussein Shandal said that Krekar was wanted in Iraq and should be tried there.

About the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, he said to the Norwegian media "This is a declaration of war against of our religion, our faith, and our civilization. We Muslims are ready for this."

Krekar told the Kurdish magazine Awene that he wants to return to Iraq to fight openly against the Iraqi government and the coalition, but that he lacked travel documents from the Norwegian government. He confirmed to a Norwegian newspaper that he had been correctly quoted. The Norwegian minister of labour and migration, Bjarne Håkon Hanssen, responded that Krekar could leave at any time and that he would be given "travel documents within the day. He'll also get money for airline tickets, taxi cab, and the whole deal. If he really wants to go, that is." Krekar is still living in Norway.

On December 7, 2006, the United States Department of the Treasury designated mullah Krekar as one of five individuals providing financial support to terrorist organizations. In a statement he is accused of providing funds for Ansar al-Sunnah, an active Iraqi terror-organization descended from Ansar al-Islam. The press release states that "This designation freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibits all financial and commercial transactions by any U.S. person with the designees". Mullah Krekar was later that day added to the United Nations Security Council list of individuals belonging to or associated with the Al-Qaeda organization. All member states of the United Nations are obliged to freeze assets and prevent entry or transit through their territories with regard to the individuals included on the list. Anders Romarheim, a researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, believes that the placement of mullah Krekar on this list is a United States strategy to put pressure on Norway.

On November 8, 2007, the Supreme Court of Norway ruled that Krekar is a threat to Norway's national security, thus upholding the February 2003 decision by the government to deport him to Iraq. It is still unclear when Krekar will be deported due to Iraq's death penalty laws. Some politicians asked for Krekar to be put in jail until he is deported.

Read more about this topic:  Mullah Krekar, Krekar in Norway

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