By providing false statements and concealing information, Norwegian authorities have hidden its role in the secret operation to get Mullah Krekar arrested. Read the story here.
After Mullah Krekar was arrested in Teheran in September 2002, American intelligence contacted Norwegian colleagues. The Americans wanted to get Mullah Krekar out of the way before the Iraq war.
Mullah Krekar was arrested the night of September 6, 2002, at the home of a friend in Teheran. September 12, he was deported to the Netherlands, where he was arrested based on information the Netherlands has received from the Norwegian embassy in Teheran.
Planted incorrect information
Sources in the boarder police in the Netherlands state that Mullah Krekar would never have been arrested had it not been for the statements that he was a member of Al-Qaeda, and that he had invalid travel documents.
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (UD) said that they did not plant any information, and that they were not familiar with Krekars arrest until the afternoon of September 12, after Krekar was arrested in the Netherlands.
TV 2 Nettavisen can reveal that a classified document proves that this is not correct, but in fact, that Norway played a central role to get Krekar arrested in the Netherlands.
Last fall, the UD stated in a press release that the information they sent over to the Netherlands was «based in its entirety on information received from the Iranians.»
This is not correct.
The UD stressed in the same statement that «the embassy in Teheran was first after midnight between Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 of September 2002 informed by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that a person, who was not specifically identified, with Norwegian travel documents had been arrested in Iran and deemed to be a Al Qaeda member.»
This is not correct either.
The morning of September 12, the Norwegian embassy in Teheran provided information to the boarder authorities at Schiphol, through the Dutch embassy. The first message was:
«On September 12, 2002, an All-Qaeda member travels most likely from Teheran to Norway via Amsterdam. The person in question has a Norwegian refugee passport issued in the name Mullah Quarim or Najmaddine Faraj. When the person in question is located, I ask you to contact your Norwegian colleagues. At the time being, there is no more information available. It is possible that the person in question is registered as deported.»
The boarder police in the Netherlands asked for more information.
In the time span between 9 a.m. and 9:50 a.m. that morning, the Dutch embassy in Teheran sent the following:
¿A BBC article
¿A picture of Mullah Krekar
¿A document written by the Norwegian embassy in Teheran with the title «Mullah Krekar and Ansar al-Islam». The document was written in English, and dated September 10.
The classified document «Mullah Krekar and Ansar al-Islam» was in other words written two days before the UD claim to have known that Mullah Krekar was arrested.
The document has not been included in the stack of documents sent over to Mullah Krekars lawyer. The document does not appear when searching the UDs post lists, and it is not registered at the Norwegian embassy in Teheran.
«I have been in the archive and checked. We have no documents about Krekar,» said one employee at the embassy.
The only place TV 2 Nettavisen have been able to locate the document is as an attachment in the correspondence between the boarder control in the Netherlands and the Dutch embassy in Teheran, September 12, 2002. The document has been classified in the Netherlands in order to protect the relationship to other states.
«I dont think the people who think that there is some type of conspiracy theory behind this, will manage to get that confirmed,» said Karsten Klepsvik, press officer, regarding the UDs way of handling the case.
The classified document and the picture of Krekar, in addition to several emails sent from Teheran to Amsterdam, indicate that Norway knew about Mullah Krekars identity long before UD claims they were informed of the case.
In addition, Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI), the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development (KRD) and the UD worked hard the days leading up to September 12 to evaluate Krekars asylum case and travel documents. In spite of the fact that Norwegian authorities were fully aware that Mullah Krekar had legal residence in Norway, they decided to misinform Dutch authorities.
Press officer Karsten Klepsvik reject this question from TV 2 Nettavisen.
«We became aware that this was Mullah Krekar hours after he was arrested at Schiphol,» Klepsvik stated.
TV 2 Nettavisen has asked a number of questions regarding classified documents and the information that was sent between Iran, Norway, and the Netherlands, September 12. Klepsvik claims the arrest of Krekar primarily was a case between Iran and the Netherlands.
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