The natural progression for any dedicated anti-American leftist.
(The Local) — A Norwegian jihadist thought to have received Al-Qaeda training in Yemen was previously a left-wing radical who refused to believe that Osama Bin Laden’s network carried out the September 11th terrorist attacks, a newspaper said.
The 33-year-old Norwegian now being hunted by a slew of international intelligence agencies associated in his youth with Oslo’s far-left Blitz movement, newspaper Dagbladet reports.
Despite his one-time radical credentials, he later worked as a child minder at a daycare centre in Oslo, the city where he was born and raised, and did not have a history of violence, the paper said.
He eventually became a member of the Green Party, according to the newspaper.
A source close to the suspect said he came to be viewed as an easily-led conspiracy theorist after the September 11th terrorist attacks in 2001.
His ideological priorities shifted after he married the daughter of a diplomat from a North African country, the paper said.
In 2008, he converted to Islam. He then underwent a change of lifestyle, giving up alcohol and breaking off almost all contact with his earlier friends.
He recently became a father, Dagbladet said, adding that his wife had travelled to her home country with their child.
Peter Neumann, a Professor of Security Studies at King’s College in London, said it was “not surprising” that the terrorist-in-waiting had sympathized with groups on the far-left.
“Converts are often on the look-out for something to which they can dedicate themselves, and they like to experiment with radical environments. They seek out a strong ideology that gives them meaning and structure,” Neumann said.
“In Norway, converting to Islam is probably one of the most rebellious things you can do,” he added.