Rawti Shax

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Rawti Shax or Didi Nwe (Kurdish: ڕەوتی شاخ‎) ("new course" or "towards the mountain")[1][2] is a Kurdish dark web-based[3] offshoot of the Kurdish jihadist group Ansar al-Islam.[4] In October 2015, seventeen members, including the suspected leader, Norway-based Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad "Mullah Krekar" (the original leader of Ansar al-Islam), were arrested or indicted in a coordinated, Italy-led multi-nation sweep by police across Europe.[2][5] The operation dismantled an integrated cell in Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, Germany, Finland and Switzerland.[5]

The network was accused of radicalizing and recruiting fighters for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), plotting attacks targeting Norwegian and British diplomats in the Middle East, and making preparations to establish a caliphate in Iraq's Kurdistan region.[2] It was also suspected of operating its own military training camps.[6] The Italian anti-terrorism chief Giuseppe Governale said that the operation was "the most important international police operation in Europe in 20 years".[2]

Arrests and warrants[edit]

A total of seventeen people, all but one of whom were Iraqi Kurds, were arrested or indicted in the raids; seven in Italy, four in the United Kingdom, three in Norway, two in Finland and one in Switzerland. 26 properties were searched in total, including in Germany, where officials seized electronic devices and documents.[2][7]

Arrested in Italy:[8][9][10]

  • Abdul Rahman Nauroz, 36, Merano, suspected operative leader of the network, arrested in prison, trained at least five jihadists who travelled to Syria and Iraq
  • Eldin Hodza, 26, Merano, Kosovo Albanian, trained with jihadists in Syria financed by Italian ringleader in 2014
  • Auch Mohamad Goran Fatah, 29, Merano, admitted contact with other indicted, allegedly in leadership circle
  • Hama Mahmood Kaml, 30, Merano, driver for a transport company, ISIL-sympathiser
  • Ali Salih Abdullah, 38, Bolzano, communications with Italian ringleader
  • Ibrahim Jamal, 31, Bolzano, nicknamed "Hitler", fought with ISIL in 2012, previously lived in England, spread jihadist propaganda and talked about the need for terrorist attacks in Europe or against European interests as well as to free Krekar from prison
  • Hasan Samal Jalal, 36, Bolzano, suspected to be ready to commit terrorist acts

Arrested in Norway:[6][8][9]

  • Najmuddin Faraj Ahmad "Mullah Krekar", 59, suspected leader of the network, arrested in prison, original leader of Ansar al-Islam, allegedly pledged support to ISIL in 2014[11]
  • Karim Rahim Twana, 38, Fredrikstad, Norwegian citizen, open supporter and close associate of Krekar
  • Kamil Jalal Fatah, 42, Drammen, Iraqi citizen, visits to Krekar in prison, communications with Italian ringleader

Arrest warrants in Finland:[8]

  • Male, leader in Finland, joined ISIL, presumed killed in battle in December 2014
  • Male, joined ISIL, presumed killed in battle in March 2014

Arrest warrant in Switzerland:[8]

The network was in addition believed to have cells in Sweden, Greece, Syria, Iran and Iraq.[12]

In March 2016 4 suspects previously arrested in the United Kingdom were released without charges, after winning a court case against their extradition to Italy.[13][14][8][15][16]


  1. ^ "Joint action against radical Islamist terrorist group coordinated at Eurojust (Operation JWEB)". Eurojust. 12 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e "16 ISIS-Linked Suspects Held in Europe-Wide Sweep: Italy Officials". NBC News. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  3. ^ "Jihadist cell in Europe 'sought recruits for Iraq and Syria'". BBC News. 12 November 2015.
  4. ^ "15 arrested in European sweep against Ansar al Islam offshoot, police say". CNN. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Italy announces swoop on 'jihadist network'". The Local. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Italienske dokumenter: Rawti Shax hadde egne treningsleirer". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). 19 November 2015.
  7. ^ "15 arrested in European sweep against Ansar al Islam offshoot, police say". CNN. 12 November 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Dette er Krekars angivelige terrornettverk" (in Norwegian). NRK. 4 December 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Coordinated European Raids Target Ring Supporting Terrorist Groups". New York Times. 12 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Meraner IS-Zelle: Sie schweigen oder bestreiten, Terroristen zu sein". stol.it (in German). 16 November 2015.
  11. ^ "- Slik styrte Krekar terrornettverket". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). 12 November 2015.
  12. ^ "European swoop seizes 15 Islamists police say planning attacks". Reuters. 12 November 2015.
  13. ^ "Terror suspects facing extradition released without charge". BBC News. 9 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Hull terrorism suspect Bakr Hamad freed after 'murder and kidnap' extradition thrown out". Hull Daily Mail. 10 March 2016.
  15. ^ "Three Britons fight extradition on terror charges". The Guardian. 20 November 2015.
  16. ^ "Hull man Bakr Hamad 'a terrorist who plotted to kidnap British diplomat and die in Jihad'". Hull Daily Mail. 20 November 2015.