If the Iraqi Minister of Information ever needs work, he could move to Norway and without speaking the language, be employed by the government in a single week.
A Norwegian appeals court has struck down terror charges against an Iraqi-born Islamist cleric currently serving time for making death threats against a Norwegian politician and intimidating witnesses.
Najmaddin Faraj Ahmad, also known as Mullah Krekar, received a total of six years imprisonment after convictions earlier this year, but the appeals court on Thursday reduced that to two years and 10 months after acquitting him of inciting terror.
The court upheld the conviction linked to death threats Krekar made against one Norwegian politician and three Kurds.
The 56-year-old cleric came to Norway more than 20 years ago as a refugee. He is the founder of Ansar al-Islam, a Kurdish group listed as a terrorist organization by the United States.
Ansar al-Islam is listed as a terror organization because it’s an affiliate of Al Qaeda which has killed plenty of people over the years, including an Australian reporter.
Mullah Krekar has a deportation order against him in Norway, but can’t be deported to Iraq, unless the Iraqi government provides assurances that he won’t be given the death penalty. Since the death penalty is how Iraq deals with terrorists, that’s a no-go.
So despite being found a threat to Norwegian national security by the court and being on the UN terror list, Mullah Krekar couldn’t be kicked out of Norway. Here’s some of the flavor of this insanity.
In February 2003 the Norwegian government ordered Krekar to be deported to Iraq, but the order had not been implemented because of the security environment in Iraq, and the risk that Krekar could face the death penalty there.
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.
Read that last sentence again and see if you feel like hitting your head against the wall.
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.
And he will be living in Norway until the meteor hits or the Vikings rise again.
Meanwhile Krekar put his time in Norway to good use threatening to kill people. This allowed the Norwegian government to lock him, except that the court has now struck down the terror charges.
And there is a sizable Swedish and Norwegian component to the Ansar Al-Islam terror network.
Two Iraqis detained in Sweden for almost a year were charged Monday with collecting and transferring money to terrorists, including Abu Musab Zarqawi, the most wanted terrorist in Iraq.
Stockholm prosecutors said Ali Berzengi, 29, and Ferman Abdulla, 25, collected more than $148,000 and transferred it to Iraq
The recipients included Ansar al-Islam, a group believed to have links with al-Qaeda, prosecutors said.
The suspects also transferred money to Zarqawi, whose al-Qaeda in Iraq group is believed to be behind numerous deadly attacks on American troops and U.S.-trained Iraqi forces, prosecutors said.
But Swedish justice prevailed.
Much of the evidence presented consisted of secret wire-tappings from U.S. and German intelligence sources. In the recordings Abdulla and Berzengi used coded language to describe the attacks. Berzengi, who according to the court was the leading of the two, was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment and Abdulla to six years. The Svea Court of Appeal later reduced the sentences to five years for Berzengi and four and a half year for Abdulla
So yes, until the meteor hits or the Vikings rise again.