(JTA) — Norwegian police have increased security around Oslo’s main synagogue after an Islamist extremist threatened to “protect” the Jewish community with an “AK-47 assault rifle and a hunting permit.”
Police on Oct. 27 recommended indicting Ubaydullah Hussain, the 27-year-old leader of the radical Islamic organization Profetens Ummah. He was arrested last week after Norwegian media reported on a comment that appeared on his Facebook account: “I will give them protection … as soon as I have received a hunting license and get hold of an AK47.”
Hussain, a former soccer referee who was born and raised in Norway, also lamented the absence of fatalities in a 2006 shooting outside the synagogue. Hussain, who participated in recent protests outside the U.S. embassy in Norway in connection with the film "The Innocence of Muslims," later told Norwegian television he “could not confirm or deny” that his statements were a threat.
The comment was made in reaction to an interview with Ervin Kohn, head of Norway’s Jewish community, which recently appeared in the daily VG newspaper. Kohn said police were not providing protection outside the synagogue on Oslo’s Hanshaugen Street during services and were not proactive enough in their approach.
“We felt like we had been neglected, and this made us uneasy in light of what happened in Toulouse and in Malmo,” Kohn told JTA
In March, Mohammed Merah, a radical Islamist, killed three children and a rabbi in a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse. Last month, an explosive charge was detonated outside the only synagogue in the Swedish city of Malmo.
Kohn said that since last week, there has been police protection outside the main synagogue of Oslo, the capital city, which is home to most members of Norway’s Jewish community of approximately 700.