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Syrian teenager sentenced over Norway terror plot

Skien prison. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / AFP
2021-06-30

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SULAIMANI — A Norwegian court has sentenced a 16-year-old Syrian to five years in prison for plotting an attack in the Scandinavian country and pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Three of the years would be suspended, the Oslo district court said in the verdict handed down late Tuesday (June 30).

The court said in its judgement that the suspect "despite his young age, had made a deliberate decision to carry out a terrorist act even if the plans had not materialised into a concrete project".

The teenager, whose identity cannot be published due to his young age, arrived in Norway in 2018 and was arrested in Oslo in early February of this year.

Prosecutors accused him of preparing an attack against an unspecified target and participating in a terrorist organisation. 

Among other things, the young Syrian had downloaded instructions on how to make explosives and poison, and a nicotine-based poison had been found in his home. 

He had also distributed IS propaganda material, and transferred 1,390 Norwegian kroner ($162) to a radical website. 

The teenager pleaded not guilty, the defence arguing that he was simply curious and boastful online.

The court said that the messages he wrote "combined with the downloaded documents, internet research and physical preparations," clearly showed that he had gone further than simply "entertaining the idea of a terrorist act."

Given that he was only one year over the Norwegian age of criminal responsibility, the court considered it justified to set the suspended part of the sentence at three years.

The prosecution had requested eight years in prison, with four of them suspended.

(NRT Digital Media/AFP)