Seven and a half years in jail for 2 jihadists accused of forming a “front” in Spanish prisons | Spain | EUROtoday

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Facade of the National Court, in an image captured in 2023.
Facade of the National Court, in a picture captured in 2023.Samuel Sanchez

The National Court has sentenced Mohamed El Gharbi and Karim Abdeselam to seven and a half years in jail for sending letters to prisoners convicted of jihadism with the intention of preserving them united, whereas they themselves have been serving jail sentences for terrorism crimes. After acquitting them on two earlier events for a similar info, the court docket lastly dominated this Monday that each have been a part of the so-called “prison front”, a gaggle of “radical Muslim” inmates who carried out “proselytism” work inside the facilities. prisons in order that the Islamist inmates wouldn’t abandon the extremist “ideology” and “continue with the fight once released.”

As detailed within the decision of the magistrates, between 2014 and 2019, whereas they have been serving sentences in Spanish prisons for crimes of belonging to a terrorist group, El Gharbi and Karim Abdeselam determined—together with Abderrahmanen Tahiri, also referred to as Mohamed Achraf, who’s on the run from justice—“to unite the inmates imprisoned for crimes related to jihadist terrorism and lead them so that they do not abandon said ideology.” To do that, they devised a system of mutual help “by sending letters containing flags and emblems of the terrorist organization Daesh; as well as nasheeds (songs used by jihadist terrorist organizations to encourage and praise the actions of combatants and militants); and religious texts, to which they gave the rigorous interpretation that was convenient for their purposes.”

The judges conclude that their goal was “to form a compact group that would fight for Islamic terrorism, in any form and place, both inside and outside prison.” Furthermore, based on the sentence, the accused additionally determined “not to limit their action to those convicted of crimes linked to jihadist terrorism”, but in addition to “instruct, radicalize and attract” new followers to their “violent ideology” by means of “the creation and dissemination of messages and slogans related to the postulates of the terrorist organization.”

The Court finds Mohamed El Gharbi and Karim Abdeselam guilty of the crime of terrorist recruitment and indoctrination. A third defendant, Abdelah Abdeselam Ahmed, has been acquitted: “Since the letters he sent to other inmates contained belligerent and rigorous content from a religious and ideological perspective, but did not include slogans, emblems or drawings of the terrorist organization Daesh that allow to affirm, without any hint of doubt, that he wanted to instruct other inmates in order to carry out acts of a terrorist nature,” the court explains.

This sentence represents another chapter in an intricate judicial case. The two convicted this Monday (Mohamed El Gharbi and Karim Abdeselam) and the acquitted one (Abdelah Abdeselam Ahmed) already sat in July 2022 on the bench alongside Abderrahmanen Tahiri and Lahcen Zamzami, accused of forming the jihadist “prison front.” During the hearing, the parties withdrew the accusation against Zamzami, and the court – made up of judges Teresa Palacios, Carmen Paloma González and Juan Francisco Martel – acquitted the rest by concluding that their letters did not urge the commission of “terrorist actions.”

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However, the Appeals Chamber of the Court annulled that ruling and ordered the court of first instance to issue a new resolution, since there were “contradictions between the proven facts and the legal classification.” But, again, these magistrates issued a second acquittal sentence, which the Appeals Chamber again annulled; ordering that the trial be repeated with new magistrates. Although, before this hearing took place, Abderrahmanen Tahiri vanished. And the new court (made up of judges Ángela Murillo, Jesús Eduardo Gutiérrez and Fermín Javier Echarri Casi) has convicted two of the accused, and acquitted the third.

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