Belgium strips Islamic State returnee of Belgian nationality

Belgium strips Islamic State returnee of Belgian nationality
A woman affiliated with the Islamic State (not pictured) has been stripped of her Belgian nationality and jailed for 5 years. Credit: © Belga

An Antwerp court has stripped an Islamic State supporter of her Belgian nationality and sentenced her to five years in prison.

The 32-year-old woman, identified as Rahma B., was also fined €8,000 as part of her conviction for participating in the activities of a terrorist organisation.

In the aftermath of Turkey’s military incursion into northern Syria in November, Rahma B. fled to Turkey where authorities handed her over to Belgium after she turned herself in.

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She arrived in Zaventem airport in November 2019 and was immediately transferred to a prison in Bruges.

During her time in Syria, she reportedly lost two husbands and three children in attacks and now has to use crutches to move around, La Libre reports.

The 32-year-old had already been sentenced in absentia in June 2019 but appealed her conviction upon her arrival to Belgium, arguing she now rejected the terror group’s radical ideologies.

“I realise that what I went through is my fault,” she told the court during her trial. “This radical ideology, which caused nothing but problems, is now no longer in me.”

Her appeal was nevertheless rejected by the court, which ordered her immediate arrest after public prosecutors described her profile as “worrying.”

Prosecutors argued that she did more than just offer “moral support” to her husbands and look after her children during her time in Syria and that she had undergone training with Islamic State combat groups.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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