Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, known as Mullah Krekar, is the original leader of an Iraqi jihadist group with links to al-Qaeda who said, “We will defend our religion with our blood,” and “anyone who dishonors Islam, or burns the Koran must die.” His words were deemed so threatening, Norwegian police arrested him after the interview.
The Local reported that Krekar, an Iraqi Kurd, was charged for “inciting criminal offences” for the extreme statements, which caused uproar in Norway when the interview was aired on Wednesday. “The cartoonist has become an infidel at war, and therefore it is permissible to kill him,” Krekar told the interviewer, arguing the attacks were justified under Islamic law.
“As he has trampled on our dignity, our principles and beliefs, so he must die. Anyone who does not respect 30 percent of the world’s population has no right to live.” Krekar saw the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which left eleven dead, as something to be celebrated.
Norway’s authorities ruled that Krekar should be expelled from he country on national security grounds as long ago as 2003, but because he faces the death penalty if he is returned to Iraq, they are prevented from doing so.