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Somalian terrorist cell: Mustapha B. pleads for clemency

Mustapha B., one of the four main defendants in the terrorism case labeled “the Somalian cell”, asked the judge for clemency on Thursday, at the Brussels Court of Appeal. His lawyer, Sébastien Courtoy, insisted his client deeply regretted going to Somalia and admitted he had made a mistake. Six people were at the Court charged with taking part in terrorist activities between 2011 and 2012. The cell concerned is the Somalian group Al-Shabab. At the Court of first Instance, 19 people were sentenced in the case. “I ask you to take into account the fact that Mustapha B. came back from Somalia of his own accord, and his current state of mind”, said Mr Courtoy. “When he speaks about it, he publicly states it’s an experience that has left a bitter taste with him. He also tells young Muslims not to do jihad”, his lawyer says.

“He is just a follower. He didn’t recruit, he didn’t organize the trip, and he has no blood on his hands. He has no previous criminal convictions. He had two years of hell in the Somalian brush, a year in Kenyan jails, and is today in isolation in Forest prison. I ask you to show clemency”, said Mr Courtoy.  

The Federal Prosecutor requested four years in prison. At the Court of First Instance, he was sentenced to five years in prison, suspended for anything more than 37 months. Mustapha B. left Molenbeek-Saint-Jean with three other defendants at the beginning of April 2011 to join Al-Shabab militants, who are considered terrorists in Somalia.

(Source: Belga)