Number of Europe jihadists arrested – Italian police to Helsingin Sanomat: Two in connection with Finland
Jukka Huusko Jussi Niemeläinen Kalle Silfverberg
A series of arrests related to a jihadist network has been made in several European countries . A total of 17 people have been arrested in Italy, the UK, Norway and in Finland, says an Italian news agency Ansa on its website.
The group is suspected of setting up an Islamist terrorist group. The group is suspected of planning kidnappings of diplomats, as well as the recruitment of jihadists in Syria and Iraq war zones.
The arrests were announced by the Italian police on Thursday. According to the News agency Ansa, the arrests related to jihadisti group director and resident in Norway Faraj Ahmad Najmuddiin, who is more widely known as Mullah Krekar.
Mullah Krekar founded the Ansar Al-Islam jihadisti group in 2001. According to Ansa, Mullah Krekar continued as its ideological and strategic leader while in prison in Norway, and sent instructions to various parts of Europe.
Finnish National Bureau of Investigation has confirmed that Finland has been involved in the Italian-led mission. Finland has provided assistance to the mission, says the National Bureau of Investigation.
According to the National Bureau of Investigation, the request is in connection with two persons. KRP does not comment on this matter any further.
Italian police confirmed to the Helsingin Sanomat that one of the detainees is Awat Hamasalih. He is a British citizen who has previously lived in Turku and was deported from Finland in January. HS told of deportation in January.
The Kurd Awat Hamasalih was arrested in Britain, not in Finland. In Finland another man was arrested.
Before moving to Finland Hamasalih lived in Birmingham. He is a member of Mullah Krekar inner circle and led the Ansar al-Islam group in Britain founded by Krekar.
Hamasalih, who also goes by the name in public of Awat Karkuky, distributed through different channels almost daily material that supports violent Islamic extremists, such as Isis’ activities. The material is mostly in Kurdish and directed at Kurds in different countries.
According to the justice dept., Hamasalih’s operation and activities in Finland, formed a “real, immediate and serious threat to public order and security”.
According to Ansa Norwegian, British Finnish, German and Swiss police have participated in the investigations and arrests of jihadist network.