OSLO, Norway (AP) — A man has been detained in Oslo on suspicion of raising money for Syria which could have gone to a terrorist group, Norway's domestic intelligence service said Saturday.
Martin Bernsen, a spokesman for the police security service, said the man was detained Friday and released, though he remains a suspect and faces a preliminary charge of financially supporting a terror organization. Preliminary charges are a step short of formal charges and a conviction on that charge carries a maximum prison sentence of six years.
"We are worried that the money that is gathered and send to Syria could end in the hands of Al-Qaida or Al-Qaida-related persons," Bernsen told The Associated Press. "Every year, large sums leave the country. We are talking about millions."
Police did not identify the suspect, but Norwegian broadcaster TV2 said he was Farid Bendriss of the Al Furqan Relief group. The organization said on Facebook that police seized 300,000 kroner ($50,730) on Friday. Bernsen declined to comment.
Al Furqan said the money was to be sent to Syrian refugees next week. It described itself as a humanitarian organization "aimed at helping people in need. All collected funds go entirely to the purpose."
Associated Press Writer Jan M. Olsen contributed from Copenhagen.