33-year-old Hasan H., nicknamed the Sint-Jansplein terrorist in Antwerp, was sentenced to 2 years’ imprisonment by the criminal court of Antwerp, for going to fight in Syria. This was not his first attempt, as he was sentenced last year to 12 years in prison for planning a terrorist attack and recruiting youths to go and fight in Chechnya. His brothers, Driss and Abdelgabar, were sentenced in absentia to 5 years’ imprisonment. Abdelgabar went to Syria in February 2013, and his brothers followed in August. Hasan however, came back and registered with the police on October 17th that same year. He explained he had spent all that time partying in Adana in the south of Turkey.
According to the federal prosecutor, he allegedly has links with the jihadist group Jabhat Al-Nusra. A minor fighting in Syria claimed he had stayed with Hasan and Driss in a house belonging to the terrorist group. According to the youth, the 2 brothers bore Kalachnikovs, and Hasan also led a surveillance mission.
The defense team reckoned those accusations were uncollaborated. The judge did not agree and highlighted there was a general trend in the intentions of the accused in line with his previous sentences. However, he decided to add 2 years to the previous sentences. His brothers were handed out 5 years’ sentences. Driss is still in Syria whereas Abdelgabar was allegedly killed in the meantime.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)