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German Court Sentences Iraqi Terror Suspect to Jail

DW staff / AFP (win)January 12, 2006

A German court on Thursday sentenced a northern Iraqi man to seven years in jail for belonging to the extremist group Ansar al-Islam and supporting its insurgency in Iraq.

Amin Lokman Mohammed (right) at the start of his trial in MunichImage: AP

Lokman Amin Mohammed was accused of having recruited and smuggled fighters into Iraq for Ansar al-Islam, and of having smuggled six wounded insurgents back into Europe to receive treatment here.

The court in Munich also heard that he had raised money and procured medical supplies for the group, which has claimed responsibility for a series of bloody attacks on US troops and aid workers.

Lokman's defense attorney had called on the judges to give his client a lenient sentence, saying that the Iraqi had supported the jihad against Americans with money and logistical support, but had distanced himself from attacks on civilians.

"He also doesn't believe suicide attacks are okay," Rolf Grabow said, according to reports.

Mohammed, 31, who comes from northern Iraq, was arrested in Munich in December 2003.

He was the first person to go on trial under a new German law passed in August 2002 allowing the prosecution of members of foreign terrorist organizations. Additional trials under the new law are planned for this year.