Two out of the three men arrested in Norway on suspicion of funneling
money to militant groups in Somalia were released Saturday by a
Norwegian court, while a third man was ordered detained, authorities
and media reports said.
Citing the men's lawyers, Norwegian news agency NTB said the two men
were still under suspicion and that police will continue to question
them next week.
Norwegian police have declined to confirm the men's nationalities, but described them as being of Somali origin.
On Friday, a Swedish court ordered two men held in custody on
suspicion of a similar crime. A third man was Saturday released after
questioning, but he remains under suspicion, Jakob Larsson, a spokesman
at Sweden's security police, said.
All six men were arrested in Sweden and Norway on Thursday in what
police said were coordinated raids targeting terror financing.
The men, in their 30s and 40s, are accused of using informal money-transfer networks called hawalas to send funds to alleged terror groups.
The paperless system, based on trust and oral agreements, is commonly used in the Middle East, parts of Asia and Africa.
Hassan Ali Omar, a spokesman for a network of Somali immigrant organizations, said many Somalis support armed groups in their homeland but insisted they were not terrorists.
Thousands of Somalis have been killed in fighting between Islamic insurgents and Ethiopian troops supporting Somalia's shaky government over the past 12 months.
Both Norway and Sweden have been spared violent terror acts, but authorities in both countries have voiced concern about terrorists or terror financiers operating out of Scandinavia.