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ISIS

Ex-jihadi housewife jailed in Norway for joining IS

A Norwegian court on Tuesday sentenced a woman who lived as a housewife in Syria to prison for being a member of the Islamic State group (IS), despite not actively fighting herself.

Ex-jihadi housewife jailed in Norway for joining IS
The Kurdish-run al-Hol camp which holds suspected relatives of Islamic State fighters.Photo: Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP

The Oslo court sentenced the Norwegian-Pakistani woman to three and a half years in prison for “participating in a terrorist organisation” by taking care of her household and enabling her three husbands to fight.

“By travelling to an area controlled by IS in Syria… by moving in and living with her husbands, taking care of the children and various tasks at home, the defendant enabled her three husbands to actively participate in IS fighting,” judge Ingmar Nilsen said as he read out the verdict.

Being a housewife to three successive husbands did not render her a passive bystander, the judge said.

“On the contrary, she was a supporter who enabled the jihad, looked after her three husbands at home and raised the new generation of IS recruits,” he said.

The young woman, who admitted having “radical ideas” at the time, left for Syria in early 2013 to join an Islamist fighter, Bastian Vasquez, who was fighting the regime.

Although she did not take up arms herself, she was accused of having allowed her husbands to go fight while taking care of her two children and household chores.

The trial was the first prosecution in Norway of someone who had returned after joining IS.

“This is a special case,” prosecutor Geir Evanger acknowledged during the trial.

“This is the first time that, to put it bluntly, someone has been charged for being a wife and mother.”

The prosecution had called for a four-year sentence, while the defence had called for her acquittal and immediately appealed Tuesday’s verdict.

The woman’s lawyer, Nils Christian Nordhus, argued that his client had quickly wanted to leave Syria after being subjected to domestic violence.

She had also been a victim of human trafficking because she had been held against her will, he added.

But the judge stressed that she had participated in the organisation “knowingly” and of her own will.

The woman was repatriated to Norway in early 2020 on humanitarian grounds with her two children, including a young boy described as seriously ill.

At least four other Norwegian women and their children are being held in Kurdish-controlled camps in Syria.

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TERRORISM

Norway charges man for planning terror in Denmark

A 24-year-old man from Norway’s Telemark county has been charged on three counts of being an accomplice in planning terror attacks.

Norway charges man for planning terror in Denmark
File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The attacks would have taken place in locations including Denmark and London, Norway’s national broadcaster NRK reports.

The man was apprehended after chat messages were discovered in which he planned the attacks with a second, unknown person, according to the report.

He has also been charged with being connected to the Islamic State (Isis) terror group.

Public prosecutor Geir Evanger said that police in the UK were able to thwart a planned attack in London and that another attack was planned in Denmark, both by the suspect.

“Charges have been brought against a person for three attempts at participating in terror (attacks),” Evanger told NRK.

The charges against the man relate to his activity online, rather than physical terror activities, according to the prosecutor.

“We believe that this is part of the new form of participation in Isis. It is based on sharing extremist material, violent material and material with religious content,” Evanger said. The prosecutor added that police consider the man to have acted as an administrator for a large number of extremist online communities.

Police also suspect the man of sharing Isis propaganda and other material produced by the terror group.

According to the official charges, he shared instructions for making petrol bombs in the chat messages and said that Denmark would become “the new France”.

The attacks in Denmark were planned in March and April 2019 and would have been committed by one or more Danish national, according to NRK’s report.

The man is also suspected of making a video in which he encouraged others to commit violent attacks in Denmark.

The charges against him could result in a 21-year prison sentence if he is found guilty, according to police.

The 24-year-old, who has been in police custody for some time, denies the charges.

Terror, cyber-attacks and espionage: These are the biggest threats to Norway’s security

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