Apparently they constitute such a big threat that their sentence is not being immediately implemented.
A court in Brussels sentenced five men who were part of a terrorist cell to jail terms of 28 months to ten years. According to the court they constituted a big threat to European society since the group had real operational capabilities.
The six accused were all connected in one way or another to the suicide attack committed by Belgian Muriel Degauque on Nov. 9th, 2005 in Iraq. The woman had been sent to Iraq by the network, together with her partner. He died the day after his wife, when American troops shot him down while he wore an explosive belt.
According to the court, five of the six accused made up one of the most dangerous terrorist groups, a jihadi group that dreamed of a Holy War in which hundreds would be killed and after which a dictatorial theocracy would be founded. "They isolate themselves in their extremism and inflict unprecedented harm on other Muslims, who only want to live in peace," said judge Pierre Hendrickx. "It's striking that these are youth who have lost all social touch and live on the edge of society, on the border of criminality, where violence is seen as normal. Psychological weak youth also make easy prey for any form of extremism."
The head suspect was Bilal Soughir, who according to the court was the head and ideologist of the terrorist cell. He had many international contacts, including with Abu Mazen, the man responsible for al-Qaeda in Europe, and he recruited people who wanted to go to Iraq. He also arranged the financial and practical support through a small trade in counterfeit ID and social documents. The man had stayed for a while in Kenya, where he is suspected of being active in a local Islamist network. Soughir was sentenced to ten years in jail and a fine of 11,000 euro.
Nabil Karmun was Soughir's main assistant and was in direct contact with Degauque and her husband. He was responsible for collecting funds but also functioned as an ideologist. He was sentenced to five years in prison, two of which are suspended, and a fine of 2,750 euro.
Younes Loukili and Alain Cruypenninck were the two active members of the cell. Loukili lived for a while in Iraq and said he had fought there against American troops, but was evacuated with serious leg injury.
Cruypenninck had prepared himself and his partner, an 18 year old girl from Rwanda, for a suicide attack in Iraq. He isolated the girl from her family and tried to indoctrinate her in all possible ways.
Cruypenninck and Loukili got five years. For Loukili, the part exceeded by his detention is suspended. Both must pay a fine of 2,750 euro.
Bilal Soughir's brother, Souhaieb, was also part of the cell. He was less fanatic in his belief than his brother, but dealt in counterfeit documents and sought financial support for the group. He was sentenced to 28 months in jail and a 2,750 euro fine.
The last of the accused, Sabri Bouabdallah, was not a member of the cell, according to the court, but helped Bilal Soughir in various ways. He helped especially in the counterfeiting of many social document and IDs. The court postponed his sentence.
The prosecution demanded the immediate arrest of Nabil Karmun, Alain Cruypenninck and Souhaieb Soughir, but the court did not agree. The defense has already announced that they will very probably appeal the sentence. The appeal trial might start already in March.
Source: HLN (Dutch)
See also: Brussels: Terrorist suspect denies fighting in Iraq, Terrorism update, Belgium: Suicide bombing network, More Belgian suicide bombers