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    An Antwerp court in Belgium sentenced Fouad Belkacem, 32, a spokesperson of the radical Sharia4Belgium group, to 12 years in prison

    Spokesman of Belgian Islamist Group Sentenced to 12 Years

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    The Belgian court sentenced Fouad Belkacem, the spokesman of a radical Islamist group Sharia4Belgium for 12 years in prison.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — An Antwerp court in Belgium sentenced Fouad Belkacem, 32, a spokesperson of the radical Sharia4Belgium group, to 12 years in prison for managing a terrorist organization on Wednesday, local news website reported. He is related to sending indoctrinated youths to Syrian to fight government forces. He was already serving a two-year term for inciting religious hatred. In a video posted on social media, he threatened to blow up the Atomium, a Brussels tourist attraction.

    Jejoen Bontinck, 20, Belkacem's accomplice and a known cobattant of a Syrien conflict, received a 40-month sentence on terrorism charges. He was apprehended on 4 January on attempt to board a flight to Turkey, presumably to get to Syria from there.

    The now-defunct Sharia4Belgium radical Islamist organization aimed to turn Belgium into an Islamic state. The group reportedly was responsible for helping Belgian jihadists travel to Syria to join the ISIL. Over 40 members of the group are awaiting a court verdict on Wednesday. According to 7sur7, the court refused to stop proceedings against the members, assumed dead, arguing that jihadists frequently stage their deaths to avoid prosecution.

    The ISIL is known for attracting foreign fighters, particularly from Western Europe. Belgian officials estimate that about 300 jihadists have already travelled to Syria.

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    Daesh, jihadist cell, trial, Syria, Belgium
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