Norwegian prosecutors are seeking an eight-year jail sentence for a jihadist who they say fought for the Islamic State group and an affiliate of Al-Qaeda in Syria, media reported on Tuesday. The 24-year-old Norwegian, named as Ishaq Ahmed by the TV2 channel, left for Syria in October 2013. Prosecutors say he fought for IS before joining the Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate. He could face up to nine years in jail if found guilty of “support for a terrorist organisation”.
Photographs posted on Facebook showed him posing with weapons.
Ahmed insists he is innocent and that he was only in Syria to carry out humanitarian work. But prosecutors maintain that in the months before his departure he carried out online research into weapons and body armour. “We have found no evidence of humanitarian work or an effort to procure medical materials,” prosecutor Geir Evanger said, quoted by the NTB news agency.
Give this “Norwegian” credit for some Arabic chutzpah, though:
Ahmed was shot in the leg and crossed the border into Turkey at the beginning of 2014, contacting the Norwegian embassy and demanding to be repatriated. His is the second trial in Norway over suspected links to the IS militants who have seized swathes of Iraq and Syria. The first trial in May saw three men, aged between 25 and 30, receive jail sentences ranging from seven months to four years and nine months.
Meanwhile, in Denmark — another country that is starting to rue the day it allowed Muslims to infiltrate its society — is (surprise!) tightening its border controls, even though it’s part of the so-called Schengen passport-free zone:
Denmark’s new Liberal led government is stepping up border controls in a bid to stop irregular migrants from entering the country. The moves, announced Tuesday (30 June) by its new minister of foreign affairs Kristian Jensen, is raising broader concerns about internal freedom of movement rules in the EU. Denmark is part of the EU passport-free Schengen area but says vamping up border checks won’t obstruct free passage.
The foreign ministry in a tweet said the plans are “not permanent border controls”. “We will suggest something that is within the Schengen rules, and there will be a dialogue with Brussels and the EU Commission, but also with our neighboring countries,” he said, reports Deutsche Welle. He also told Reuters they want to “make it tough on criminals to pass, but still easy for companies to come through.”
The Danish move comes as member states are grappling with mounting anti-migrant sentiment as thousands continue to cross the Mediterranean every week to seek asylum in the EU.
Good to see Europe finally waking up to an existential threat, even if for some it’s already too late.