Italy issues 17 arrest warrants for Iraqi Kurds in European terrorism blitz

Published: Thursday 12th November 2015 by The News Editor

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Police in Italy have issued 17 arrest warrants for Iraqi Kurds on terrorism-related charges in a Europe-wide blitz.

General Giuseppe Governale told RAI state radio that the operation involved investigations in Britain, Norway, Finland, Germany and Switzerland.

The ANSA news agency said the suspects are accused of international terrorism association. A news conference is being held later in the day with Italy’s top anti-terrorism officials

Meanwhile, Norway’s security service PST said that a jailed Iraqi-born cleric and two other people have been arrested on suspicion of their involvement in a terror plot in Italy.

A PST spokeswoman said Najmaddin Faraj Ahmad, known as Mullah Krekar, and two others face a court hearing in Oslo on Friday and possible deportation to Italy.

Last month, Ahmad was sentenced to 18 months in jail for praising the killing of cartoonists at the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had made fun of Islam and other religions.

He was also found guilty of urging others to kill a Kurdish immigrant in Norway in the same interview with Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

Earlier this year, Ahmad was freed after nearly three years’ imprisonment for making death threats.

The 59-year-old Kurd, who came to Norway as a refugee in 1991, was convicted in 2005 for a similar offence.

Norway and the United States have accused Ahmad of financing a defunct Iraqi Sunni insurgent group called Ansar al-Islam. It reportedly merged with Islamic State last year.

Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg said “if this means that Krekar leaves Norway, that’s fine”.

Published: Thursday 12th November 2015 by The News Editor

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