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Norway charges Islamist leader Mullah Krekar over death threats

OSLO, July 12, 2011 (AFP) - Norwegian prosecutors on Tuesday filed a terrorism charge against Mullah Krekar, founder of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam, who is accused of threatening a politician with death.

The Iraqi is facing the charges over remarks made about ex-minister Erna Solberg during a news conference in June last year when he spoke about plans to deport him.

"Norway will pay a heavy price for my death," he said. "If for example Erna Solberg deports me and I die as a result, she will suffer the same fate."

Prosecutor Marit Bakkevik told the TV2 station: "I can confirm that we have charged Mullah Krekar."

Krekar co-founded Ansar al-Islam in 2001 under his real name of Najmeddine Faraj Ahmad but said a year later he no longer led the group, listed as a terrorist organisation by the US and the UN.

Norwegian authorities have previously ordered his expulsion but the process was suspended amid concerns he would face the death penalty in his home country.

Krekar's lawyer Brynjar Meling told the VG Nett newspaper that he had taken the news of the legal action "with a stoic calm".


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