Fact-check: No, the controversial Quran burner Salwan Momika was not found dead in Norway

Salwan Momika, an individual of Iraqi origin, arrived in Sweden in 2018. In April 2021, the Swedish government granted him a three-year residency permit. Throughout his stay in Sweden, he became controversial and faced criticism for publicly burning the Quran on multiple occasions. In October 2023, his application for residency renewal was denied by the Swedish Immigration Authority due to allegations of providing false information on his immigration application. On March 27, through his X (previously known as Twitter) account, he claimed that he had applied for asylum in Norway, where he is currently staying. Following this, rumors circulated on the internet claiming he was found dead in Norway.

Salwan Momika

Check out some media reports with this claim: The Economic Times (India), Free Press Journal (India), The Siasat Daily (India), and Pajhwok Afghan News (Afghanistan).

See related Facebook posts here (archive), here (archive), here (archive), and here (archive).

See related X posts here (archive), here (archive), here (archive), and here (archive).

Fact Check

The Rumor Scanner team’s investigation revealed that the claim of Salwan Momika’s death in Norway is not accurate; he is presently in the custody of the Norwegian police.

After he left Sweden for Norway, various claims about his death began to circulate on social media.

On April 1, a post from a Turkey-based Facebook account named Vasıf Ay claimed, without providing any sources, that “it is heard that a Kurd killed Salwan Momika in Norway.”

Screenshot: Facebook.

On April 1st, the Wikipedia article of Salwan Momika was edited to add that date as his death date.

Several posts on social media X (1,2,3,4) then alleged that his body had been found in Norway, yet these posts lacked credible sources and did not include any photographic evidence of the body.

Following these allegations, multiple Indian media outlets (1,2,3) reported on his supposed death, which was subsequently echoed by some Bangladeshi media, citing the Indian reports.

To gather more information, the Swedish fact-checking organization Källkritikbyrån and the Norwegian fact-checking organization Faktisk were contacted by the Rumor Scanner team.

On April 3, Källkritikbyrån informed the Rumor Scanner team that they had not yet verified this issue but referred to a report by the Swedish-Arabic news outlet Alkompis on this subject.

Alkompis, citing Norwegian media Document, reported that the Norwegian police’s immigration unit was unaware of any incidents involving Salwan Momika being found dead.

On April 4, Faktisk informed the Rumor Scanner team that Momika has been in custody since arriving in Norway last week. He has sought asylum in Norway, but will be returned to Sweden as soon as possible.

This report was supported by a publication in the Norwegian news outlet Verdens Gang, along with reports from two other media outlets (1,2) in Norway and Sweden.

Further reports by the Norwegian news outlet Filter Nyheter revealed that the Norwegian police detained Salwan Momika on March 28, shortly after his arrival, and he has since been held at the police immigration center.

Screenshot: Filter Nyheter.

The report further states that the Norwegian police consider him a threat to national security and are thus arranging for his prompt return to Sweden.

Moreover, the Swedish news outlet Aftonbladet reported that the press manager of Sweden’s Migration Agency confirmed to the news agency TT that they had accepted Norway’s request regarding his return.

Bottom Line

Salwan Momika, known for sparking global controversy by publicly burning the Quran in Sweden, recently moved from Sweden to Norway. Following his move, rumors of his death in Norway spread widely online. After a thorough investigation, it has been confirmed that Momika was arrested by Norwegian police on March 28 and is currently in their custody.

Hence, the widespread claim circulating online about the discovery of Salwan Momika’s dead body in Norway is false.

Sources

RS Team
RS Team
Rumor Scanner Fact-Check Team
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