Oslo District Court decided Muslim extremist Mullah Krekar should be remanded in custody for eight weeks, Wednesday. Experts warn of possible reactions.
In justifying its decision, the court ruled that Krekar is suspected of a punishable act that, amongst other things, that could lead to a penalty of more than six months. It was also argued that custody is necessary to prevent Krekar from committing new punishable acts, reports NRK.
For his part, Krekar claimed he has not incited terror. He also reportedly consistently denied his guilt and demanded that he be released.
Armed Police Security Service (PST) members and other officers apprehended Krekar at his Tøyen apartment in Oslo, yesterday, subsequent to having issued new threats at the weekend via the Paltalk website that he had also used earlier. It is still unclear whether police’s action was the result of political pressure.
The arrest came a day after the court sentenced Krekar to five years imprisonment after finding him guilty of making death threats against several named persons, including Conservative Party (H) leader Erna Solberg.
Earlier today, Shoaib Sultan, advisor at the Norwegian Centre against Racisim, said he feared the media attention that Mullah Krekar's arrest had garnered might spark sharp reactions from Krekar's followers against the Norwegian state.
He told NRK, "One fears that this [the arrest] will be perceived by many as a breach of a peace situation. In everything that he has said and done, Krekar has maintained that Norway was a peaceful position, and a breach of this may mean that those who support him could carry out acts in Norway."
Mr Sultan added that while it is impossible to say what kind of a reaction the arrest could lead to, he thinks it could possibly be a violent action directed against the state of Norway.
He feels the threats made by Krekar can be thought of as being real. According to the broadcaster, several have also been directed against other Norwegians, and might be used as leverage for him to stay in Norway.
"If this is perceived as real threats, one must also take into account the fact that there is someone who can implement these things. These [Krekar’s supporters] can be divided into two groups: the Kurdish community, which is not great, but is an environment.”
“In addition, there those who initially did not support Krekar, but who share his world view and wish to carry out attacks, using this as an excuse, " he said, also airing the possibility Krekar’s arrest could provide a common cause and lead to a further radicalization of certain groups.
"It can provide something one can gather around, and in many ways this shows the community how they (the Norwegian people) treat their leader," concluded Mr Sultan.
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