Islamist militant Krekar to be extradited from Norway to Italy

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Najumuddin Faraj Ahmad following his release from a Norwegian prison in 2015. (AFP)
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A view of the Norwegian Supreme Court in Oslo, Norway May 23, 2018. (Reuters)
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Updated 12 February 2020

Islamist militant Krekar to be extradited from Norway to Italy

  • Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad won refugee status together with his family in Norway in the early 1990s
  • Krekar’s appointed lawyer has said he will ask the European Court of Human Rights to intervene

OSLO: An Iraqi Kurdish Islamist suspected of plotting attacks in Europe and the Middle East will be extradited from Norway to Italy, the Justice Ministry in Oslo said on Wednesday.
Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, better known as Mullah Krekar, a former leader of the Ansar Al-Islam militant group, won refugee status together with his family in Norway in the early 1990s.
In 2015, Italian authorities said that at least 15 suspected members of a militant group including Krekar had been arrested in six European countries on suspicion of planning attacks.
Krekar failed to avert extradition in the Norwegian courts, and the Justice Ministry on Wednesday gave its approval.
An appeal to the full cabinet is possible, but on past evidence is unlikely to succeed.
Krekar has been arrested several times during his years in Norway, once for threats against Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Though deemed a threat to Norway’s national security, Krekar was not deported back to Iraq because authorities there could not vouch for his safety.
At the time of his arrest in 2015, Krekar had already served an 18-month sentence for making death threats against a Kurdish man and giving an interview in which he encouraged other people to commit criminal acts.
Krekar’s publicly appointed lawyer has said he will ask the European Court of Human Rights to intervene in the case.


Scare in Greece after machine part mistaken for mortar shell

Updated 18 min 24 sec ago

Scare in Greece after machine part mistaken for mortar shell

  • A bomb-disposal team from the Greek army determined it was a rusting machine part used by the power utility
  • Circulation restrictions were already in effect in Athens and across Greece due to the coronavirus crisis

ATHENS, Greece: Roads near Greece’s parliament building in central Athens were cordoned off for several hours Tuesday after a bomb scare turned out to be a false alarm.
Authorities said several streets around central Syntagma Square were been blocked to traffic and pedestrians for several hours after workers doing excavation work for water main maintenance found what was believed to be a decades-old mortar shell.
A bomb-disposal team from the Greek army determined it was a rusting machine part used by the power utility. Police reopened the roads that were blocked for about three hours.
Circulation restrictions were already in effect in Athens and across Greece due to the coronavirus crisis.