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IS member from Antwerp risks losing Belgian nationality

© Belga

A woman from Antwerp affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) in Syria risks a five-year prison sentence and being stripped of her Belgian nationality.

The woman, identified as Saïda El Mimouni, was married to a member of the now-disbanded terrorist cell Sharia4Belgium, a man named Rachid Iba whom she followed after he left for Syria.

Iba, who has since reportedly died, was given an eight-year prison sentence for his involvement with the radicalised terror cell.

El Mimouni was also sentenced to ten years in prison, in a trial where an overwhelming majority of the defendants were tried and sentenced in absentia, with only seven present during the proceedings.

According to the federal public prosecutor, El Mimouni left for Syria with her children in March 2013 to join her husband, who had already travelled there to join the ranks of the IS, HLN reports.

El Mimouni returned to Belgium in 2014 and gave birth to a second child in January 2015, before heading back to Syria that summer, passing through Poland and Ukraine, according to the outlet.

Documents recently found in Syria showed that, after her husband’s death, El Mimouni had married an IS fighter of Tunisian nationality in May 2017, Gazet Van Antwerpen reports.

On Thursday, federal prosecutors demanded the court give a five-year prison sentenced to El Mimouni, and that she be fined €8,000 as well as stripped of her Belgian nationality.

A verdict is expected on 25 February.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times