Mullah ‘not sorry for cameraman’s death’
Article from: AAP
November 13, 2007 04:25am
THE former leader of the terrorist group responsible for the suicide bombing that killed an Australian cameraman in Iraq in 2003 is unapologetic about his death.
Paul Moran, a freelance cameraman, was in the Kurdish region covering the opening days of the Iraq war for the ABC when a blast killed him and at least five Kurdish soldiers.
Dozens more, including ABC journalist Eric Campbell, were wounded.
The suicide bomber belonged to Ansar al Islam, a Sunni Muslim group listed as affiliated with al-Qaeda.
Najmaddin Faraj Ahmad, the Kurdish Iraqi better known as Mullah Krekar, had by that time allegedly relinquished control of Ansar and fled to Norway as a refugee.
Krekar told ABC TV’s Foreign Correspondent the suicide bomber’s target was the Kurdish soldiers and not the film crew.
But he showed little remorse that Mr Moran was among the dead.
“How (would the bomber) know that this man is Australian – and is photographer only – and know he is innocent?” Krekar told Foreign Correspondent in Norway.
“(The bomber) came to kill this line, which is the military line, he cannot choose to stop, oh your friends … who are with the other soldiers.
“I think it is, like you say, Muslims not say this, wrong time … wrong work in the wrong time,” he said with a smile.
Krekar said he had never been quizzed by Australian officials over his involvement in Moran’s death.
This is despite the Australian Government formally listing Ansar as a terrorist organisation a week after the suicide bombing and listing Mullah Krekar as its leader.
“If there was something against me … Australian people, (Prime Minister) John Howard can send some people or some papers, some letters to court in Norway,” he said.
“… no one ask me about this, which mean that I have not any contact with this.”
Asked if he had any message for Moran’s widow and family, Mullah Krekar said: “I say to all of the western women, don’t send your sons to kill us.”
When reminded Moran was a cameraman and had not killed anyone, he replied: “Yes … he was also with our enemy.”
Krekar said jihad allowed Muslims to kill their enemies and anyone who helped them.
“It is allowed for me in Islam to kill him (the enemy), to kill his translator, to kill the people which give him food and water, give him medicine, all of them is in the line of war,” he said.
Krekar has lost a Norwegian Supreme Court appeal against deportation but is unlikely to be sent back to Iraq because of Norway’s strict policy against deporting individuals to countries that engage in torture or have the death penalty.