Aftenposten Nettutgaven
 Wednesday June 28 2006
Aftenposten Nettutgaven First published: 22 Jun 2006, 12:46
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Krekar honors al-Zarqawi

Mullah Krekar has praised both Osama bin Laden and the recently killed Iraqi al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in an interview with a Kurdish newspaper.

In an interview with Dagbladet Kurdish leader mullah Krekar said that the west is at war with Islam and that Osama bin Laden was a good person.

PHOTO: ERLEND AAS/SCANPIX

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According to Norwegian channel TV 2, Krekar expressed his admiration for Zarqawi to the weekly Awene shortly after the al-Qaida leader was killed in a US air strike.

"I am proud of what he has done and that he has become a martyr," Krekar told the newspaper.

Krekar, who after years of legal wrangling is to be deported from Norway as soon as Iraq is deemed a safe return, also said he would like to return home to northern Iraq and join the struggle.

"Now I sit at home and am not free. This is the fifth year I sit between the tribunal, prison and home. All my rights have been taken, and here it is the law that decides," Krekar told Awene.

Krekar confirmed the quotes on Thursday, in the newspaper Dagbladet's web edition.

"If I become free ... and I hope to be free to travel home to Iraq to fight the Americans, because they came to my country with soldiers and have destroyed my religion, my civilization, my culture and my country. If I had travel documents I would be in Iraq or have been killed now," Krekar told Dagbladet.no.

Krekar also told Awene that he was willing to sacrifice himself for Osama bin Laden, who he called an international political figure with global influence. This quote caused the controversial mullah pause.

"I think they have mistranslated me. When you use a word it does not mean the same in Norwegian as in Kurdish. So I think that what they have written about me is wrong," Krekar told Dagbladet.no.

Associate Professor Torkel Brekke at the University of Oslo said that the interview really does not reveal anything new about Krekar's world view.

"What might be called news is that he dares to say it publicly," Brekke told TV 2.

Mullah Krekar, born Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad, is the former leader of the Kurdish guerilla group Ansar al-Islam in Northern Iraq.

(Aftenposten English Web Desk/NTB)


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