At Antwerp criminal court this Tuesday 37-year-old Said M. was sentenced to 12 years in prison and a 30,000-euro fine. He had been sentenced in absentia to 15 years’ imprisonment last February, and appealed his sentence. The court ruled that Said M. was one of the terrorist group Sharia4Belgium’s leading figures. He was regularly seen at Sharia4Belgium headquarters on Dambruggestraat. He was a member of their advisory council, kept track of students’ presence in class and at conferences, took part in street preaching events, and was aware of the organisation’s financial situation.
Said M. left to join the ranks of the Mujahidin advisory committee in Syria in March 2013, this being one of the movements which founded Islamic State. According to the federal prosecutor, he was in charge of guarding Jeroen Bontinck, a prisoner in the training camp.
Said M. did not come to the trial in person. His attorney only had scarce phone communication with him and is unaware of his whereabouts. The criminal court ordered his immediate arrest.