UPDATED: The guerrilla organization once led by Norway’s troublesome refugee Mullah Krekar has been behind numerous terrorist attacks in Iraq that have killed scores of civilians, according to military documents revealed by Wikileaks. The documents “confirm what we suspected,” says the former Norwegian government minister who launched deportation proceedings against Krekar.
Erna Solberg, now leader of the Conservative Party and herself the target of death threats from Krekar, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Tuesday that documents made public by the controversial whistle-blowing website Wikileaks should boost efforts to send Krekar out of Norway.
“This just confirms that Krekar is a threat to national security,” Solberg told NRK. “We must get a (deportation) agreement in place with Iraq.” She said that her ministry was aware of terrorist ties to Krekar and his organization Ansar al-Islam, “but we didn’t have these details, or these types of sources (the military documents).”
NRK went through scores of documents recently released by Wikileaks and found numerous references to Ansar al-Sunna, the successor organization to Ansar al-Islam that Krekar helped found and lead during the 1990s, after Krekar had received refugee status in Norway. All told, Krekar and Ansar al-Islam were mentioned in 184 documents and linked to executions and suicide bombings.
When Norwegian officials found out about Krekar’s trips back to Iraq to lead Ansar al-Islam he was accused of violating the terms of his asylum status and ultimately declared a threat to national security in Norway. Norwegian authorities have been trying to deport Krekar ever since, but can’t send him back to Iraq now for fear he’d be sentenced to death.
Meanwhile, Wikileaks has revealed that the organization Krekar led went on to train suicide bombers which, in one case, sauntered into the offices for Kurdistan’s democratic party (KDP) and set off an explosion that killed 65 civilians and injured 247 others in 2004. NRK reports that was far from the only attack for which Ansar al-Sunna has claimed responsibility.
The organization also has produced home-made bombs used in operations against its enemies. Another Wikileaks link leads to a report from October 2006 decribing how Ansar al-Sunna cooperated with Al Qaida and Al Naqshabandia to produce car bombs for use against the international forces in Iraq.
In the report, an official taking part in an attack was described as one of the leaders of Ansar al–Sunna and that he worked with “Mullah Krekar, the great leader of Ansar al-Islam.”
Solberg said the current government must find a solution that will allow Norway, in good conscience, to deport Krekar. An agreement with Iraq could then be evaluated by a Norwegian court, “and if the agreement can be relied upon, expulsion could take place,” she told NRK.
NRK reported that Krekar declined comment on the Wikileaks documentation. A state secretary in the Justice Ministry later told newspaper Aftenposten that the Wikileaks information doesn’t change Krekar’s status, and that he must remain in Norway until the Iraqi government can present a “credible guarantee” that Krekar won’t be executed. That may take years.