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Tajik IS cell member in Germany jailed for 7 years

January 26, 2021

The man had been accused of forming an "Islamic State" cell with other locals of Tajik origins. They had first planned to shoot dead an Islam critic inside Germany.

Dusseldorf, 2016: Armed police guarding court buildings in Germany's state of North Rhine-Westphalia
The accused apologized, saying he was 'terribly sorry for everything'Image: picture-alliance/dpa/M. Skolimowska

A German court on Tuesday sentenced a man to seven years in prison over plans to to shoot dead a critic of Islam as part of an "Islamic State" (IS) terror cell.

Summing up the four-month trial, a Düsseldorf court spokesman said the 31-year-old man living in Wuppertal had formed an IS cell with other Tajiks also living in Germany's western Ruhr District. 

The accused, known as Ravsan B., had later handed a functioning semi-automatic pistol over to another cell member for use in a planned attack that was foiled through police investigations, said the spokesman. His full name was not published because of German privacy laws.

The court also found that he with others — motivated by jihadi radicalism —  had planned a contract murder in Albania in 2019 to earn funds for the IS movement.

That attack, however, was not carried out because at the last moment doubts emerged about the identity of the intended victim, described last year by German federal prosecutors as an Albanian businessman.

Four suspected members of the cell were arrested in April 2020.

Wuppertal was where authorities intervened in 2014 when Salafists patrolled streets in orange vests emblazoned with the words "Sharia police."

IS cell member apologizes

Prior to Tuesday's sentencing, the accused apologized, saying he was "terribly sorry for everything."

Federal prosecutors had wanted him jailed for 8 1/2 years on the main charges of being a member of a terrorist organization and preparing a grave act of violence endangering the state.

The court also found that Ravsan B. had participated in a transfer of money to Syria.

His defense lawyers did not plead on the length of jailing, but had tried to cast doubt on several key points of the prosecutors' submissions.

The verdict is still subject to appeal, should prosecutors or the defense decide to take the case further to Germany's top BGH criminal court in Karlsruhe.

ipj/aw (dpa, AFP)

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