Norwegian authorities have issued an international warrant for Mohyeldeen Mohammad, a radical Islamist charged with making threats against a Member of Parliament. They’ve also cut off Mohammad’s welfare payments.
Mohammad, age 32, failed to show up in court on Monday when his trial was supposed to begin. Prosecutors told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Tuesday that they have evidence Mohammad searched on the Internet for countries that don’t have an extradition agreement with Norway. Authorities have also recorded that Mohammad withdrew money a few days ago in Morocco, among the countries lacking an extradition treaty with Norway.
His money supply from Norwegian state welfare agency NAV is about to run out, however. Prosecutor Frederik B Ranke and Norway’s police intelligence service PST confirmed to NRK that NAV has been alerted to Mohammad’s failure to appear in court and to the international warrant issued for his return. Ranke said NAV has confirmed that it will stop the welfare payments it has been sending to Mohammad. It wasn’t clear why NAV had been supporting him financially.
“I believe it’s correct for NAV to stop the payments,” Ranke told NRK. “The taxpayers should not finance Mohyeldeen Mohammad’s avoidance of a court date.”
Mohammad’s defense attorney Byrnjar Meling claimed Mohammad had not received proper notification of his trial. Ranke contested that and pointed to other records of Mohammad’s Internet activity showing that he had pulled up media stories about it. Prosecutors claim he had no valid reason for avoiding his trial in a criminal case that could result in a 10-year jail term.
Mohammad, who has a long record of hailing terrorists including Osama bin Laden and warning of attacks in Norway, is under indictment for sending a string of hate messages to MP Abid Raja of the Liberal Party. Raja called Mohammad a “cowardly extremist” for fleeing his trial this week, while other Muslims have earlier called him an “idiot” who does not represent their views.