German Court Hands Five Tajiks Prison Terms On Charge Of Being Members Of Islamic State Cell
By RFE/RL's Tajik Service June 01, 2022
A court in Germany has sentenced five Tajik men to lengthy prison terms after finding them guilty of being members of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization's cell that planned terrorist attacks in Germany and elsewhere.
A court in Dusseldorf said on May 31 that the Tajik men, aged 25 to 34, were sentenced to prison terms between three years and eight months to nine years and six months.
According to the court, the five men were in contact with groups involved in the Stockholm truck attack of April 2017 and those involved in the killing of four people in Vienna in November 2020.
Investigators said at the trial that in 2020, the group planned to murder a critic of Islam, but police thwarted the attack.
Before their arrest, the five Tajiks lived in different cities in Germany's western North Rhine Westphalia region.
Tajik authorities say that since 2013, some 2,000 Tajik citizens have joined IS and other terrorist groups led by Islamist extremists in Syria and Iraq.
Hundreds of them were killed and wounded there, while some managed to return to Tajikistan. Many of those who came back were amnestied, but some were handed lengthy prison terms on terrorism and mercenary charges.
With reporting by dpa, AP, and AFP
Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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