Iraqi-born Islamist Cleric In Norway Terror Trial

Published February 15, 2012 8:54AM (EST)

OSLO, Norway (AP) — Iraqi-born cleric Mullah Krekar has pleaded not guilty in Norway to charges of making death threats against politicians and encouraging suicide bombings.

The 55-year-old Islamist cleric rejected the charges at the start of a terror trial on Wednesday at the Oslo District Court.

Krekar, who came to Norway as a refugee in 1991, founded the Kurdish Ansar al-Islam, listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and other nations. It is suspected of organizing suicide bombings against coalition forces in Iraq.

A local court declared Krekar a national security threat and ordered him deported in 2005, but later postponed the move because of concerns he could face execution or torture in Iraq.

By Salon Staff

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