Austria jails imam and three other men for Isis recruitment

An imam and three other men have been locked up by an Austrian court for running a religious group that recruited young men for Isis.

Austria jails imam and three other men for Isis recruitment
Three women walk between destroyed buildings in the Syrian city of Raqqa, formerly an Isis stronghold. Photo: Delil Souleiman/AFP

The court in Graz, the capital of Styria state, sentenced the imam to seven years in jail.

The three men received six-year, five-year and five-month suspended jail terms for their links to Isis in Syria.

Two other men were tried but acquitted.

All of the accused were born in Turkey and were found to be involved with the group founded by the 47-year-old imam, who has denied radicalizing young men to recruit them for Isis.

The others accused have also maintained their innocence, and the verdicts can be appealed.

Like other European countries, Austria saw a wave of people – many of them minors and some young women – leave the country to join Isis in Syria and Iraq.

In 2016, a Muslim preacher known as Ebu Tejma at the centre of an Austrian jihad propaganda network was sentenced to 20 years in jail for “brainwashing” dozens of people aged between 14 and 30.


Austria expecting sunny weather this weekend after ‘coldest April since 1997’

After an unusually cold spring, warm sunshine is finally heading for Austria this Mother's Day weekend.

People enjoy sunny weather in Vienna's Stadtpark. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
People enjoy sunny weather in Vienna's Stadtpark. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Bright sunshine and summer temperatures are predicted for most of the country all weekend, with lovely weather forecast for Mother’s Day on Sunday. 

It’s a significant turn after what was the coldest April in more than two decades. 

The weather will be best in the west of Austria, though on Saturday morning it will be slightly frosty in some Alpine valleys. By Saturday afternoon, temperatures should be over 20 degrees in western Austria and up to 22 degrees in Vorarlberg and Tyrol up to 22 degrees. 

At heights above 2000m it will still be around minus 5 to minus 2 degrees in the morning, in the afternoon around zero degrees on the Schneeberg and 6 degrees in the Ötztal Alps.

On Sunday it will be much warmer. Temperatures will reach 19 degrees in the Bernsteiner and East Styrian areas and go up to 24 degrees around Vienna. 

In Vorarlberg and western Austria it could even get as warm as 28 or 29 degrees, with bright sunshine. However, it will feel cooler in Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland, due to brisk winds. 

Frosty nights have worried farmers, especially those tending to orchards such as these apricot trees in the Wachau Valley. (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)

Coldest April since 1997

Spring has been unusually cold this year.

Broadcaster ORF reports it was the coldest April since 1997.

New records have even been set, with minus seven degrees celsius was measured at Graz Airport on April 8th and temperatures of minus 11.8 degrees Celsius recorded at Bad Mitterndorf the next day.