MESOP : Norway to extradite Kurdish Islamic radical Krekar to Italy

OSLO,— A Norwegian court gave the green light on Wednesday for the extradition to Italy of Iraqi Kurdish Islamic extremist leader accused of belonging to the Islamic State (IS) group.Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, also known as Mullah Krekar, has lived in Norway as a refugee since 1991 but Italy has requested his extradition in the belief the 59-year-old is an Islamic fundamentalist who associates with jihadists.“

A swift and complete resolution of the affair and respect for international penal cooperation speak in favour of pursuing penal procedure in Italy,” an Oslo city court ruled.Krekar has twice served jail terms in Norway for threats and inciting violent behaviour.Iraqi Kurdistan attempts to have him extradited failed over Norwegian fears he could face the death penalty at home.Wednesday, his lawyer Brynjar Meling said his client would appeal, citing alleged procedural irregularities.“We have not had access to the original (case) documents,” Meling told AFP, suggesting Oslo was looking for any excuse to have him leave a country which views him as a security threat.Italy wants to charge him over alleged terror plotting in the belief he leads Rawti Shax, an internet-based offshoot of extremist group Ansar al-Islam and helps to recruit jihadi fighters.

Meling says accusations against Krekar should be heard in Norway. Krekar said in 2015 only the Islamic State can “fulfill our ambitions and dreams,” . “The Islamic State is not something strange; it is the only element that can fulfill our ambitions and dreams,” he said in an Al Jazeera interview.Krekar was released in March following a ruling by the Court of Appeals that overturned a previous Oslo District Court decision in October, in which Krekar was sentenced to one and a half years in prison for threatening the life of Halmat Goran, a Kurd who had burned a copy of the Koran.

Krekar has immigrated to Norway in 1991 after “Islamic scholarship” and training in Pakistan and Afghanistan in 1980s. Earlier his pictures from Afghanistan has been published in many Islamic web sites and Krekar has also confirmed via his lawyer Brynjar Meling that he had meeting with Osama bin Laden already in 1988 in Peshawar in Pakistan.

Krekar, who led the Ansar al-Islam organization, founded in 2001, as a merger of Jund al-Islam (Soldiers of Islam), and a splinter group from Islamic Movement of Kurdistan (IMK).

Ansar al-Islam group listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and Iraqi Kurdistan government. The group is also suspected in suicide bombings of coalition forces in Iraqi Kurdistan,