Siv Jensen, head of one of the political parties that Mullah Krekar has identified as among his enemies, repeated calls for Krekar’s arrest, after he had repeated threats against Norway and another leading, conservative politician.
“How much more are we going to allow from this man?” questioned Jensen on her Progress Party’s website on Friday. “It’s possible it can take time to kick him out of the country, but while we wait to get that done, he must be put in protective custody. It is not safe to let him wander around on Norway’s streets. This affects the safety of citizens.”
Jensen was reacting to comments made by Krekar during a meeting with foreign journalists in Oslo on Thursday, most of all over his claim that Norway “will pay a price” if he is killed after a deportation.
Krekar said that politicians responsible for his deportation would also be responsible if he’s sentenced to death or killed. “My death will cost the Norwegian society,” he claimed, adding that “if (Conservative Party leader) Erna Solberg sends me out, and I die, she will suffer the same fate.” He clarified later that “If I die, those who are the reason for that will suffer the same fate.”
It’s not the first time that Krekar has expressed his dislike for Solberg, who backed a deportation order against him in 2005 when she was part of an earlier center-right government. The Conservatives and the Progress Party have since started cooperating on more issues, though, and his comments on Thursday infuriated Jensen.
“These are pure threats from a man who has been declared a danger to the security of the nation,” Jensen said, stressing that it’s not just Solberg she’s worried about, but any official under threat.
She said it was critical that the police react immediately, and said she’d report Krekar to the police herself. Jensen said it was “incomprehensible” that Krekar, whom she claimed has a “network” of contacts within terrorist organizations, “goes free” while making “the most serious threats against the Conservatives’ Erna Solberg and other politicians. This is just horrible.”
Solberg, meanwhile, seemed more relaxed about the renewed threats from Krekar, telling Norwegian reporters that while his statements were “uncomfortable,” she wouldn’t let them bother her and expected the police to determine whether Krekar’s statements violated any laws.
“Mullah Krekar can’t threaten his way into staying in Norway,” Solberg told TV2. “It’s very important that the Norwegian authorities remain committed that he will be sent out of Norway as soon as it’s possible.”
Krekar came to Norway as a refugee from Northern Iraq in 1991. The Norwegian government later allowed his family to come to Norway and he enjoyed years of government support until Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that he’d been traveling back to Iraq and leading the guerrilla group Ansar al-Islam.
Since then, he’s been the target of various deportation attempts and a highly controversial figure in Norway. He’s been classified as a threat to national security and had his passport revoked, but Norwegian authorities won’t send him back to Iraq for fear he’d be put to death under its laws allowing capital punishment.
Krekar has continued to live in Oslo, but complained that he’s unable to work since he has “lost everything” in the Norwegian court system. He said he wants to teach, or write, claims he has done nothing wrong over the years, and even that he has “great respect for the Norwegian society” and was grateful for earlier support.
Now, though, he feels the right-wing of Norwegian politics, Norway’s police intelligence unit and the Norwegian media are his “enemies” and he doesn’t feel like the “free” man Jensen makes him out to be. Krekar complained that he has not found any “sympathy” for his cause and is no threat to national security.
“Thanks be to God, I like to read,” he said, when asked how he spends his days. “I have many thousands of books.”