Norway: Terrorist cell planned attacks in Norway

Norway: Terrorist cell planned attacks in Norway

Dagbladet reports that the three suspects are:

* Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak Bujak (37), an Iraqi Kurd living in Oslo. He was arrested in Germany and Norway asked to extradite him.

* David Jakobsen (31), Uzbek living in Oslo. Jakobsen's request for asylum was rejected, but he received a residence permit via family reunification. Several sources in the Uzbek community told Dagbladet that Jakobsen radicalized during his time in Norway.

* Mikael Davud (39), Norwegian citizen of Chinese-Uighur background. Suspected of leading the cell. Davud was formerly called Muhammad Rashidin, but changed his name in 2007.

This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog -

VG reports that the Norwegian security services installed cameras in Davud's apartment next to the UllevÄl Univesrity hospital in Oslo. According to the PST, it was there that Davud stored the bomb materials for al-Qaida's first attack in Norway. The attack was planned in Norway, but the three hadn't chosen a concrete target yet. The suspects bought the ingredients for the hydrogen peroxide bombs in February and March of this year. According to the PST they had enough material for a large bomb or several small ones.

According to VG, all the movements in the house were recorded and sent to the PST in Nydalen (Oslo).

Jakobsen's lawyer confirmed to Dagbladet that Jakobsen visited Davud's apartment on several occasions and had national dishes by him.

All three suspects deny any connection to terrorism. In his interrogation Davud denies that he knew about the hydrogen peroxide.

VG reports that Davud's lawyer says that David Jakobsen bought the chemicals for somebody else who wanted to remove rust from his car.

Aftenposten reports that the PST has been following the radical Uighur community for a while, and has pressured people in the community to prevent them from radicalizing.

The case is compared to a case last year when former Taliban minister Abdul Mohammad Rauf supposedly managed to set up a community with a small group of supporters in a mosque in Oslo. The PST managed to break up the community and prevent radicalization. The PST contacted about 25 people who's been in touch with Rauf through the mosque.

Einar Wigen, author of the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment study "Islamic Jihad Union: al-Qaida's Key to the Turkic World?" and researcher for the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, says that previous terrorist cells of this type traveled to the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan to train in using explosives.

According to a New York Times report, the three are part of the Turkistani Islamic Party/East Turkestan Islamic Movement. The ETIM/TIP were formerly linked to terror attacks in China, but Wigen thinks that terrorist group has close contacts with other organizations who have a strategy aimed against the West.

"The 39 year old Uighur who was arrested could have been influenced by a more global, Jihadi ideology through contact with other Jihadist groups in Afghanistan or Waziristan. These see the West as the primary enemy and a target for terror attack, rather than focusing on establishing Islamic rule in their own homeland," says Wigen.

"That the group is described as members of TIP could be linked to the Uighur's background, and that he was the one who recruited the other two. There are few good sources and little research on TIP and ETIM, but what looks like a central-Asiatic terrorist network has emerged, with centrally Uighurs but also Uzbeks. Whether they can be considered part of al-Qaida or not, is difficult to say. The Germany Sauerland cell in particular, which was uncovered in 2007, had links to the central-Asiatic network. There are many similarities between the Sauerland cell and what been published about the Norwegian cell," the NUPI researcher says.

The so-called "Sauerland cell" planned to create powerful car-bombs of more than 700 liters of hydrogen peroxide. The bombs were to be used in attacks against American installations, airports or discos. The aim was to force the German army out of Afghanistan.

The materials are the same as those the three terror suspects in Norway had.

Wigen says that the Uighur and Uzebek Jihadists are often in the same networks. Similarities in language could contribute to making the recruiting process easier.

"It could naturally happen that an Uighur and Uzbek get together, but Uighur and Uzbek are closely related languages, and it can therefore be relatively easy for the two to speak to each other. When the Taliban still ruled Afghanistan, they sent Uighurs to Kunduz, where the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) had their base. This can be some of the reason why Uzbek and Uighur Jihadists are often in the same networks," says Wigen.

"In general it's very 'classic' for Jihadists in Europe that just one in the group that plans terrorist acts gets training in camps, and has contact with the leaders, and that they recruit new members who already have citizenship or residence permits in Western countries. There are many similarities here with previous attacks in Europe, both those carried out and planned," says Wigen.

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