Iraq: January 4, 2004

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Kurd and US sources reported the arrest of Mullah Krekar, the Kurdish founder of Al Qaeda-ally Ansar Al-Islam on January 2nd in Norway. Interestingly enough, Krekar was arrested on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder, not charges of terrorism. Krekar allegedly planned the murders of several potential Kurdish rivals in 2000. Krekar had been held in Norway on terrorism charges, but was released in April 2003.  Norwegian prosecutors have been given a month to formally make their case. It will be interesting to see if prosecutors eventually tie Krekar to terrorist activity in Iraq. Ansar Al-Islam is thought to be a damaged organization, but several attacks on coalition forces in northern Iraq have been tied to Ansar Al Islam militants. Obviously, Krekar wasnt directly involved in those specific attacks after the collapse of Saddan Husseins Baath regime. However, for almost two years Ansar Al-Islam carried on a small-scale war against Iraqi Kurds.


 

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