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'Sweden harbouring known terrorists'

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11:00 CET+01:00
A Turkish member of parliament from the ruling Justice and Development Party, Turan Cömez, has accused Iraq's embassies in France and Sweden of offering protection to known terrorists.

Speaking to Turkish daily newspaper Milliyet, Cömez also alleged that the two embassies knowingly issued passports on false grounds to Kurds from Iran, Syria and Turkey, Metro reports.

Armed with their new passports, the Turkish MP asserts that Kurdish terrorists would be well positioned to enter Iraq and join in efforts to wrest control of Kirkuk, the city at the centre of the northern Iraqi oil industry.

The Norwegian investigator charged with looking into the alleged passport scandal, Haavar Kampen, confirmed to Metro that all those in receipt of the passports were of Kurdish extraction and hailed from a number of different countries.

"All those who got passports are Kurds, the man convicted of falsifying identification documents is a Kurd, and the ambassador is a Kurd," said Kampen.

Metro has also found evidence that the Swedish Migration Board had long suspected that all was not right with Iraqi passports from the so-called 'S-series'.

Following consultation with police, the Aliens Appeals Board and the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, the migration authority was able to conclude in the minutes of a meeting from May 2006 that "it is not possible to verify the authenticity of these passports".

Turan Cömez wonders why France and Sweden did not follow the lead of a number of other countries that refused to accept the S-passports as valid forms of identification.

Despite its misgivings as to the authenticity of the passports, the Swedish Migration Board failed to put in place any concrete measures to hinder their use.

Cömez also claims to have received proof from Turkmen sources in Kirkuk that Turkish Kurds have begun appearing in the city with passports issued on the basis of false identification documents.

"According to reports by the Turkmenis in Kirkuk, PKK terrorists are arriving in the city with official identity cards issued to them by the IKDP and the KYB. Settling into the PKK's civilian and political offices in Kirkuk, they are actively preparing for provocative terror acts," he told newspaper Hurriyet.

Cömez travelled to the USA on Monday to explain the Turkish government's position on events in Kirkuk.

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