The Mullah that sticks like glue to Norway
The Norwegian saga of the Kurdish quota refugee, Najumuddin Faraj Ahmad, is far from over, despite the terrorism sentence in Italy.
Most Norwegians know the smiling and bearded man under his pseudonym, Mullah Krekar. For some, he appears as a benevolent grandfather type, for others, as a scary terrorist monster.
Ahmad came to Norway as a quota refugee from Northern Iraq in 1991, following his wife Rohkosh. Over the next few years, the couple brought four children into the world, since then, grandchildren have been added to the family tree.
He began commuting to Northern Iraq after a few years in Norway, where he helped build what, in 2001, emerged as the Islamic rebel movement Ansar al-Islam
The following year he wound up in the searchlight of PST (the Police Security Service) and the media when US authorities claimed that Ansar-al-Islam formed a link between Saddam Hussein and the al-Qaeda terrorist network.
Cannot be expelled
In September 2002, Ahmad was arrested in the Netherlands, who declined an extradition request from Jordan. They returned him to Norway four months later. He later received compensation from the Netherlands for wrongful imprisonment.
A few months after returning to Norway, he was arrested by the PST and charged with terrorist activities in Iraq. This case was dropped.
Then Municipal Minister, Erna Solberg (Conservatives), decided, in February 2003, that the so-called Mullah should be expelled to Iraq, something that has never come to fruition, as he is at risk of torture and execution in his home country.
It was, in 2003, revealed that the CIA had dispatched agents to Norway to kidnap Ahmad and bring him to the Guantanamo base on Cuba. The plan failed. It has never been established whether the Norwegian authorities were informed in advance.
PST continued the investigation of Ahmad, but failed to get him sentenced for terror, terrorist financing, murder, attempted murder and kidnapping, even though they have tried several times.
Even after the UN placed the Mullah on its list of al-Qaeda-associated terrorist groups in 2006, no damning evidence was found against him.
Condemned for threats
Norwegian police did not succeed before 2012, when Ahmad was found guilty of having made threats to Erna Solberg and three Kurds. He was sentenced to five years in prison, but that was later reduced to two years and ten months. At the same time, he was acquitted of charges of enticing terror.
After completion of sentence, Oslo Police District decided to “banish” Ahmad to an asylum reception at Kyrksæterøra in Sør-Trøndelag.
The decision was annulled by the Borgarting Court of Appeal, which strongly criticised the Ministry of Justice for having instructed the police.
When the Mullah in an interview reiterated threats regarding one of the Kurds he had previously been convicted of threatening, that ended in another verdict, this time for 18 months in the penitentiary. The ensuing appeal, however, ended with an acquittal.
Verdict in Italia
When Italy, surprisingly, announced interest in Ahmad in 2015, the Norwegian authorities’ hopes were rekindled. The Mullah was detained yet again, but a few months later he was a free man for the umpteenth time.
A new tug of war followed, first regarding extradition, then about travel documents, and guarantees from the authorities that he would be allowed back in Norway.
Any such guarantee was never granted, He was, nonetheless, sentenced to 12 years in prison for terrorist planning. Both experts and Ahmad’s defence question the verdict, which, according to Italian media, is based on intercepts by PST.
“PST, along with political authorities, has used the Italians to solve a problem,” Defence Lawyer for Ahmad, Brynjar Meling, comments.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today