Najmaddin Faraj Ahmad, known as Mullah Krekar, was arrested Thursday in Oslo on preliminary charges of inciting to commit criminal offense, a day after giving an interview to Norwegian broadcaster NRK. He was also apprehended on preliminary charges for threating a Kurdish immigrant living in Norway in the same TV interview. Preliminary charges are one step short of formal charges.
"Whoever offends our religion and our honor, must understand that this is a conflict about life and death," Ahmad told NRK. "The cartoonist has become a fighting heathen whom it is permissible to kill."
Before Friday's ruling at the Oslo court, Ahmad said "I think only of my religion." He refused to comment on the TV interview.
Last month, Ahmad was freed from an Oslo prison after serving nearly three years for making death threats. The 58-year-old Kurd, who came to Norway as a refugee in 1991, was convicted in 2005 for a similar offense.
Norway and the United States have accused Ahmad of financing a defunct Iraqi Sunni insurgent group called Ansar al-Islam. It reportedly merged with the Islamic State group last year.
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