Norway: Australian Jihadist at center of mosque controversy

Norway: Australian Jihadist at center of mosque controversy

Wenham's wife, Sandra, is the manger of the Alnor Muslim community and mosque, and Wenham sits on the board. The community is the most active in Tromsø.

Via the Australian:
A FORMER Australian jihadist who trained with the Indonesian militant group Jemaah Islamiah and later left Australia for Yemen has resurfaced in Norway.

He is now at the centre of a heated controversy over the proposed building of a Saudi-funded mosque.

Former Perth man Andrew Ibrahim Wenham has emerged as a central figure in a fiery public debate over construction of a mosque in the small town of Tromso in northern Norway.

The controversy had been inflamed after Wenham's history of jihadist activity in Australia was reported in a front-page expose in a local newspaper, headlined, "Muslim leader involved in terror network" (NO).

Wenham told The Australian last night he regrets his past involvement with JI and now fears it will derail the mosque project and damage the Islamic community in Tromso, where he has lived since 2002.



After living quietly in Tromso for eight years with his wife and six children, Wenham's presence there came to light when a controversy erupted last month over a proposal to build a mosque with $4 million of Saudi funding. The mosque proposal, which had already attracted local opposition, is in further doubt following revelations in a local newspaper about Wenham's role in it.

He says concerns that the mosque will promote extremism because it is Saudi funded are "totally wrong". "To say that because some of the money comes from Saudi Arabia that means it's a Wahhabi mosque is totally wrong. If we were a Wahhabi sect, my wife wouldn't be in the position she is in."


See also: Norway: No Saudi mosques, as long as there's no freedom of religion in Saudi-Arabia