14:03 GMT +323 October 2019
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    Belgian Jihadist Sentenced to 28 Years in Jail for Murder in Syria

    Ruben Diaz
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    The correctional court of Antwerp sentenced 24-year-old Hakim Elouassaki to 28 years in jail for the murder he had committed in Syria while fighting on the side of jihadists.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — It’s the first conviction in Belgium of a person who returned from war-torn Syria, Libre Belgique newspaper reported on Monday.

    According to the investigation, Elouassaki confessed to the murder of a 40-year-old Shiite Muslim in the suburbs of Aleppo. The former militant reportedly claimed that he had been forced by militants to do this. However, in the phone conversation recorded by the Belgian intelligence agencies Elouassaki told his girlfriend that he had committed the murder because he did not receive the ransom money from the family of a man whom Elouassaki had been holding hostage. The man’s brother was only able to pay 30,000 euros ($31,900) while Elouassaki demanded 70,000 euros ($74,400).

    Elouassaki returned to Belgium from Syria in 2013 after he had received a wound in a conflict. Before going to Syria he had been a member of the radical group Sharia4Belgium, designated a terrorist organization by a Belgian judge in 2015.

    Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, with government forces fighting against numerous opposition and terrorist groups, including al-Nusra Front and Daesh, banned in a range of countries, including Russia.



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