Mullah Krekar (a.k.a. Faraj Ahmad Najmuddin) is the co-founder and previous leader of Ansar al-Islam (Supporters of Islam), a radical Kurdish Islamic group that was supportive of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Located in northern Iraq, this organization has ties to the Taliban and al Qaeda, and has called for attacks against Americans. Warning that more 9/11-type attacks against the United States are possible, Krekar proudly asserts, “Many martyrs are ready to blow themselves up.” Krekar has called Osama bin Laden “the jewel in the crown of Islam.” Krekar gave over leadership of the group to co-founder Abu Abdallah al-Shafi’i when Krekar was put under house arrest in Norway in June 2004. Norwegian officials called Krekar “a threat to national security,” as he was reported to have acquired chemical weapons. Also in June 2004, Krekar was convicted by Jordan for terrorism ties and was “sentenced in absentia” to 15 years of hard labor.
Krekar is currently serving a prison sentence in Italy, after having been extradited from Norway in 2020.