An Ex-Jihadi in the Arctic
I grew up in the far north of Norway, hundreds of kilometers above the Arctic Circle. As you might expect, my research interests and arctic origin do not intersect very often. Last time was back in 2004 when a plane on the way from my home town Narvik to Bodø was nearly brought down by an axe-swinging Algerian Islamist. Last Saturday, however, the local newspaper in the nearby city of Tromsø – where I have spent many a drunken night in my youth – broke a remarkable story (hat tip: Tore Bjørgo). It was about Andrew Ibrahim Wenham, a British-Australian convert to Islam who has been living in Tromsø since 2002. The 46-year old Wenham is a respected leader in the local Muslim community and the founding director of the local Alnor mosque. He is married to a Norwegian convert from Tromsø and leads a quiet existence. However, as the newspaper Nordlys uncovered, Wenham has a somewhat murky past.