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Germany

Wife of German terror cell leader gets prison term

One year after her husband was convicted of planning what could have been the deadliest terrorist attack on German soil, a German-Turkish woman has received a two-and-a-half year jail term for supporting terror groups.

Defendant in burqa with eyes blurred out

The woman said she had not realized her own radicalization

A Berlin court on Wednesday sentenced the wife of the leader of a German terrorist cell to two and a half years in prison for supporting terrorist organizations.

The German-Turkish woman was found guilty of collecting up to 2,900 euros ($4,000) for terrorist groups such as the Islamic Jihad Union, the German Taliban Mujahedeen and al Qaeda between November 2009 and February 2010.

She was also convicted of publishing propaganda texts on the Internet that solicited members for terrorist groups, charges which she admitted but from which she distanced herself in the trial.

"It seems to me that it was a different person who wrote the texts," she said, adding that she despised war and violence and had not realized her own radicalization.

Federal prosecutors had called for the two-and-a-half year sentence, calling the woman a "fanatical militant" who labeled "infidels" as enemies of Islam and called for their "annihilation." Her defense attorney called for a suspended sentence, arguing that the woman had sincerely distanced herself from her previous actions.

The defendant's husband, 29-year-old Fritz Gelowicz, was sentenced to 12 years in prison last March by a court in Dusseldorf for planning terrorist attacks against US targets in Germany.

He was arrested with two others in September 2007 in the Sauerland region in western Germany, after which the group was later named. The men were preparing 410 kilograms of explosives to detonate at the German parliament as it voted on its NATO force in Afghanistan the following month.

Author: Andrew Bowen (dpa, dapd)
Editor: Rob Turner

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