Europe

Germany: Teen imprisoned for planning to Behead Priest during Christmas

A 19-year-old man was imprisoned for nine years over his involvement in plans for two Islamist extremist attacks in Germany.

A 19-year-old man was imprisoned for nine years over his involvement in plans for two Islamist extremist attacks in Germany. One of the suicide missions was to be carried out by a 12-year-old boy.

The Vienna Criminal Court sentenced an Austrian man of Albanian descent to nine years in prison on Friday in connection with plans for two Islamist extremist attacks in Germany.

The case highlights the challenges posed by radicalized youth ready to commit acts of terror at home and in neighboring countries.


What the court found

  • The man was found guilty of inciting a 12-year-old German-Iraqi boy to target a Christmas market in the city of Ludwigshafen. The child had tried but failed to detonate an explosive belt at the market in late 2016.
  • During the trial, the 19-year-old admitted to being a member of the “Islamic State,” but downplayed his role in plotting the attacks.
  • Reacting to his lengthy sentence, he turned defiant, saying: “I don’t give a s***!”

What else happened in court?

  • As well as plotting multiple murders, the defendant was found guilty of membership of a terrorist organization.
  • The jury found the 19-year-old had incited his wife — whom he married under Sharia Law — to attack the Ramstein Air Base.
  • The 17-year-old girl with Moroccan heritage said she had fallen in love and let herself be influenced.
  • The market plotter, now aged 14, tried to cover for his older friend. “The idea was mine,” he told the court.
  • The boy said he had considered beheading a priest, attacking a bus, or a hospital.

What happens next?

  • Defense lawyer Wolfgang Blaschilz said he would consider appealing.
  • Blaschilz said the nine-year sentence was “way too much,” and added that his client’s deradicalization process was underway.

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