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First three jailed under Norway's new Isis law

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First three jailed under Norway's new Isis law
Djibril Abdi Bashir, Chilean-Norwgian Bastian Vasquez, and a third Norwegian killed in Syria. Photo: Police Security Service (PST)
17:14 CEST+02:00
A court in Norway has sentenced three men to prison for joining the extremist group Islamic State in Syria, in the first convictions made under its new anti-terror laws.
Albanian Norwegian Valon Avdyli (28) was sentenced to four years and nine months for fighting for IS, while his brother Visar (25) was sentenced to prison for just seven months, for aiding the organisation and violating weapons laws. 
 
Djibril Abdi Bashir, a 30-year-old Somali Norwegian was sentenced to four years and three months in prison for travelling to Syria to work with IS. 
 
In its judgement, the court ruled that Bashir and Valon Avdyli had sworn allegiance to IS in May 2013, after which they travelled to Syria, stayed there until January last year.
 
On their return, they began buying equipment to send to Valon Avdyli’s elder brother Egzon, who remained in Syria but who was then killed last April.  
 
“After returning to Norway, they gave the impression that they would return to Syria again to continue to serve actively for ISIL," the ruling said. 
 
The three were charged under Penal Code section 147d, which came into the statute books in June 2013, almost six months after the two men returned to Norway. 
 
Under the law, anyone who participates in, recruits members for, or provides financial or other support to a terrorist organization faces up to six years in prison. 
 
Valon Avdyli’s lawyer Svein Holden said he aimed to contest the judgement at the court of appeal. 
 
“It's disappointing to be sentenced to prison for nearly five years when he has constantly said that he was not part of IS,” he said. “In our view, it’s definitely possible to succeed at the Court of Appeal”. 
 
During the court hearing, Valon Avdyli and Djibril Abdi Bashir both confessed to having travelled to Syria, but said they had gone because they wished to help oust the government of President Bashar al-Assad. 
 
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