The Kurdish founder of a radical Islamic group has been jailed in Norway after making death threats against senior officials.
Mullah Krekar has been found guilty of making threats against former minister Erna Solberg, who signed an expulsion order against him in 2003 as the cleric was deemed to be a threat to the nation’s security. He also threatened the lives of three Kurds, who had either insulted or burnt the Koran.
Krekar, 55, claims he is no longer involved in Ansar al-Islam – regarded as a terrorist organisation by the UN – and says he will appeal against the five-year sentence.
Krekar, originally known as Najm Faraj Ahmad, came from northern Iraq to Norway as a refugee in 1991. Ever since he has lived with his family in Oslo , where he founded Ansar al-Islam. Washington believes the organisation is responsible for attacks on coalition troops in Iraq, and, in 2006, the UN claimed Krekar had links with al-Qaeda.
The cleric denies any links with terrorism and says he resigned as leader of Ansar al-Islam in 2002. His expulsion order is still on hold due to the ongoing war in Iraq.