Greek court jails 2 men over Islamic State membership



A Greek court has convicted two Swedish nationals of belonging to the Islamic State group and sentenced them to 15 years imprisonment.

The two suspected jihadists who hold Swedish passports tried to enter Turkey carrying machetes and combat items and were handed the sentences on Friday by a court in Alexandroupoli.

The suspects lawyer said the men would appeal against the sentence. They will remain incarcerated until their next trial, however a date has not yet been set.

Mirsad Bektasevic, a 30-year-old born Bosnian, along with a 20-year-old of Yemeni origin who has not been named, were caught in February 2016 near the border of Turkey.

Inside their luggage police found two machetes, army uniforms and other combat items. The suspects insist the items had been legally purchased in Athens as souvenirs.

Bektasevic, who was born in Sarajevo, had been arrested in Bosnia in 2005 after a police raid at his house found a suicide belt, explosives and a video showing a man with a covered face threatening terrorist acts against the US Capital and the White House.

The men’s lawyer says they were also found guilty of arms possession — a pair of hunting knives — with the intent of supplying a terrorist group.

They were arrested in February last year at a bus stop near the Turkish border. Police said the pair had bought tickets for a village near a border crossing.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.