Norway: Imam tries to recruit refugee for suicide attack

Spokesperson Martin Bernsen of the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) confirms to Dagbladet that the security police is aware with what he describes as special religious activity at asylum shelters. PST has no evidence that the recruiting attempts succeeded.

Dagbladet got confirmation that there was an attempt to recruit an Afghan citizen who sought asylum in Norway by an Imam. The PST was informed of the recruiting attempt in the summer.

The asylum seeker told a Norwegian citizen of the recruiting attempt. A short time later the Norwegian citizen contacted the PST and informed them of the imam's recruiting attempt.

"The asylum seeker said that an imam from Oslo attempted to talk about Jihad - holy war. He wanted to recruit the asylum seeker so that he would go back to Afghanistan. There he would participate in a suicide attack and blow himself up," says Dagbladet's source.

The Afghan, who first left Norway voluntarily - after his asylum request was rejected - was later sent back to Norway by the Italian authorities after he was arrested in Italy.

It was impossible to confirm yesterday at which shelter the recruiting attempt was.

The asylum seeker in question declared that he was in the prayer room at the asylum shelter when he was contacted.

"The asylum seeker pretended that he would be willing to go back to Afghanistan and participate in a suicide attack. At the same time he made a condition that the imam will also come along," says Dagbladet's source.

The imam excused himself saying he was busy in Oslo, says the man who warned the PST about the recruitment attempt.

The PST was warned about the recruiting attempt in the summer. Nobody was yet arrested in the case.

Spokesperson Martin Bernsen of the PST confirmed yesterday to Dagbladet that recruitment of suicide bombers isn't an unknown problem for for the terrorist hunters in the security police.

"We are aware that various forms of religious activity is taking place at the asylum shelters and that several imams visit asylum seekers," says Bernsen.

At the same time he stresses that even if several imams go to asylum shelters, that doesn't mean necessarily that they do anything illegal.

"If anybody will be incited to violence and terror it's naturally something we are very interested in," says Bernsen.

Dagbladet got confirmation that the PST has information of other recruitment attempts among asylum seekers in Norway. The PST got information from different communities about similar attempts to recruit asylum seekers to Jihad - holy war.

It was emphasized to Dagbladet that the PST doesn't have information that people who sought asylum in Norway - after their request was rejected - had taken part in suicide attacks and blew themselves up in Afghanistan.

At the same time it was it was specified that it can't be ruled out that former asylum seekers in Norway blew themselves up during attacks against allied soldiers in Afghanistan.

In the fall of 2006 Dagbladet revealed that at least three Norwegian citizens of ethnic Pakistani background - had been at training camps of the militant organization Lashkar-e-Taiba — later known by the name Jamaat ud Dawa.

An Islamist organization with direct ties to the terrorist network al-Qaeda. One of the Norwegian participants had later described to Dagbladet his stay at Lashkar-e-Taiba as a combination of a religious and militant training camp.

The Afghan for whom there was a recruitment attempt at the asylum shelter, said that the imam first made contact when no outsider could hear what they spoke about.

The language used during the recruitment attempt was not Norwegian.

"We are very interested in making contact with people who know more or have information about attempts to recruit suicide bombers in Norwegian asylum shelters," says spokesperson Martin Bernsen of the PST.

Source: Dagbladet (Norwegian), h/t Mitt Sverige

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