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Jihadist taxi driver sentenced to ten years
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Jihadist taxi driver sentenced to ten years

The Local · 24 Mar 2016, 18:32

Published: 24 Mar 2016 18:32 GMT+01:00

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The court in the Austrian city of Graz heard that the 23-year-old man, Sevkret G., had grown up in Austria to Turkish parents but the despite his western upbringing, he had still been persuaded to fight in the jihad.

After travelling to Egypt in 2012, he then went on to Syria where he was a fighter for the Islamic State (ISIS). The court heard however that he was badly injured and in order to get treatment he had returned back to Austria in March 2013.

On his return, he had been given hero status and travelled to various Islamic organisations in the country, where was praised for his bravery and boasted that he even still had shrapnel embedded in his body.

He had also been working on persuading his younger brother Omer, aged 17, to travel to Syria and the pair arranged tickets to Turkey in November 2014 from where they planned to head across to Syria.

However they were caught before they could leave after being identified by the Austrian secret service. The prosecution accepted that they were unable to prove that Sevkret had killed anybody in Syria, and therefore had opted for a reduced charge of attempted murder as well as membership of a terrorist organisation.

They also claimed that he was a clear security threat as he was using his hero status to persuade others within Islamic organisations to back the call for jihad, and even to join in.

Defence lawyers argued that circumstantial evidence of guilt was not enough to convict, saying that the 17-year-old had simply wanted to go to Turkey to learn the language.

However after nearly five hours of deliberation, the jury found the elder brother guilty in a unanimous verdict, while at the same time deciding there had not been enough evidence to convict the teenager who was freed.

Story courtesy of Central European News

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