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Norway to Deport Kurdish Guerilla Leader

The leader of a Kurdish Islamic guerrilla group operating in northern Iraq was ordered out of Norway on Wednesday for what immigration officials called “a threat to national security” due to alleged Al-Qaida links. Mullah Krekar, leader of Ansar al-Islam, was given two weeks to leave Norway and three weeks to appeal the ruling. At a Jan. 14 news conference in Oslo, Krekar denied he or his group had any links to terrorism or ever had any contact with al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Although Krekar’s lawyer is lodging an appeal with Norway’s Immigration Appeals Board, the action may only delay Krekar’s deportation, since the Immigration Directorate’s recommendations contributed to the deportation ruling. At a news conference, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Erna Solberg said her decision stemmed from recent U.N. Security Council discussions on preventing safe havens for terrorism. “Ansar al-Islam is an armed, Islamic, fundamentalist grouping which I believe there is reason to suppose has a connection to the Al-Qaida network,” said Solberg, whose ministry is responsible for asylum-seekers. Full Story

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