Brussels man sentenced to five years in Liege for terrorism

Brussels man sentenced to five years in Liege for terrorism
The justice palace in Liege © Belga

A 29-year-old man from Molenbeek in Brussels has been sentenced by a court in Liege to five years in prison and fined €8,000 for terrorism offences.

He was also sentenced to an additional 30 months and a fine of another €8,000 for importing drugs into the country. Both of those sentences were suspended for half of their value.

The man, who has not been named, was caught by police using telephone taps and a plain clothes officer infiltrating his circle of acquaintances. Investigators heard him boasting of being a relative of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the IS leader recently assassinated by US forces. He also spoke of having taken part in killings and kidnappings.

The man was arrested in January last year, after police heard how he had expressed radical religious ideas and a readiness to die as a martyr. At some point between 2017 and 2019 he had expressed the intention to commit a terrorist act.

On his arrest, he denied the accusation about his ideology, pretending he had made up the boasting stories. According to his statements, he had worked for the terrorist organisation for only a matter of months, as a computer technician.

The five-year sentence is the maximum the correctional court can impose for terrorist acts. The drugs sentences are half-suspended: the 15 months effective jail time will be served concurrently with the five years, while half of the fine – €4,000 – is also suspended, bringing the total fine at this point to €12,000.

Alan Hope

The Brussels Times

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