Palestinian blogger el-Baghdadi is not new to controversy

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Iyad el-Baghdadi has recently come into the limelight after he lashed out at Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir, when the Saudi minister said that he didn’t know him.

El-Baghdadi sought asylum in Norway after being deported from the UAE, where he was a resident.

While he identifies as a former Salafi, el-Baghdadi has been criticized for being sympathetic to a variety of extremist groups including al-Nusrah Front.

In a February 2012 tweet, which has since been deleted, the blogger wrote that if his “own family and friends were being blown to bits such as in Baba Amr, I would accept al-Qaeda’s help to save them.”

In another deleted tweet, he wrote: “When I see these scenes, it makes me even want to go to and join Jabhat al-Nusra, so don’t blame Syria’s youth.”

El-Baghdadi also said that the scenes he was seeing were “enough to even turn me into a suicide bomber.”

“I’ve really never heard of anyone named Iyad el-Baghdadi,” al-Jubeir told reporters. “The only el-Baghdadi I have heard about is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”

“It could be that the goal of his allegations is to obtain permanent residency in some country. But with regards to us, we don’t have any information about him,” al-Jubeir added.

Self-styled pro-democracy activist el-Baghdadi responded on Twitter boasting his Norwegian connections, and saying that he was “already granted asylum in Norway.”

In a press conference in Oslo last week, el-Baghdadi implored Norwegian authorities to bring his family from Malaysia, where they currently reside, to Norway.

El-Baghdadi at first only spoke with the Guardian, which published an article on May 7 quoting unnamed Norwegian officials as saying that they had received intelligence from the CIA that he faced a potential threat from Saudi Arabia.

There has been no official comment on the matter by any of the agencies mentioned in the Guardian’s article.

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