Belgians in Syria – fighters from Vilvorde and Machelen condemned to up to 7 years in prison
Saturday, 21 November 2015
On Friday, The Brussels Criminal Court condemned four fighters in Syria, originating from Vilvorde and Machelen to between 4 and 7 years in prison. Three of them left for Syria in March 2013 to take part in the armed struggle. Two of them had already come back after a few months. The fourth accused man had not gone in the end because he was arrested for other facts.
The Court condemned Mohammed Sadik Cherabi to seven years in prison. He had gone to Syria twice and had encouraged or helped 16 people to reach the same destination. In February 2014, after his second stay, he kept in touch with recruiters for Syria and suspected members of the terrorist cell in Verviers, dismantled in January.
Mohamed Aquichouh, Sadik Cherabi and the third suspect, Annas Koundi, all went to Syria together in March 2013, when they became closer to the Majlis Shura al Mujahidin movement, a brigade of Jabhat al-Nosra. Mohamed Aquichouh stayed until late April only, but he is nonetheless said to have contributed to the capture and torture of Jejoen Bontinck during that lapse of time. He sentenced to four years in prison, while Annas Koundi got a six years sentence though he is said to still be in Syria today.
Zouheir B., the last suspect, was condemned to four years in prison. He bought an all terrain Dodge vehicle together with Sadik Cherabi to reach Syria, but the latter left alone in October 2013, with the vehicle, because B. was incarcerated for other facts at the time.