UPDATED: Norway’s justice ministry has received a formal request from Italian authorities to extradite the Islamic cleric Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, better known as Mullah Krekar. The Italians also want Norway to extradite a 42-year-old Iraqi, both of whom are charged with planning terrorist attacks.
Krekar and the Iraqi man who lives in Drammen faced new custody hearings in an Oslo city court on Friday, and Krekar was ordered held for at least four more weeks. State broadcaster NRK reported that Norway’s police intelligence unit PST (Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste) wants them both held for another four weeks.
Italian investigators believe that Krekar is the leader of a terror network known as Rawti Shax. He was already in prison, serving time for making threats, when he, the Iraqi and a 38-year-old Norwegian were charged again in the Italian case.
The 38-year-old is a Norwegian citizen and can’t be extradited. Krekar came to Norway as a refugee from Iraq and plans to fight the extradition order. Norwegian authorities have been trying to send Krekar back to Iraq for years, but have been unable to extract assurances from Iraqi authorities that he would not be executed. Norway won’t send people back to countries where they may face a death penalty.