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Germany

Court sentences German al-Qaeda aides to prison

A regional German court finds two men guilty of helping international terrorist network al-Qaeda. The pair were sentenced to six years and two and a half years in prison.

Osama bin Laden is seen next to a map of Europe

The men were guilty of membership of al-Qaeda

A regional court in the German city of Koblenz has sentenced two men to six years and two and a half years in prison on terrorism-related charges.

Omer O., 32, was found guilty of being a member of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda and of having provided it with money and weapons, receiving the heftier of the two sentences. Co-defendant Sermet I., 32, was found guilty of supporting the militant group.

The court said the pair had aided al-Qaeda from 2004 to 2008 in carrying out deadly attacks.

Prosecutors argued that in early 2006 Omer O. spent time in a terrorist-training camp on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where he learned to use weapons.

Omer O.

Omer O. was sentenced to six years in prison

The case had been ongoing since September last year, with more than 100 witnesses being called to testify against the men, who are of Turkish origin.

The Turkish Justice Ministry and attorney-general had requested the extradition of Omer O. shortly before Monday's ruling.

The proceedings against the two men were part of an ongoing case. In July last year, the court convicted German-Pakistani businessman Aleem N. for al-Qaeda membership, and on eight counts of breaching German export laws. He was sentenced to eight years behind bars.

Aleem N. was first arrested in February of 2008, on the suspicion he belonged to al-Qaeda. Omer O. and Saleem I. are said to have worked for, and together with, Aleem N.

Author: Darren Mara (dpa/AP)
Editor: Rob Turner

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