Iraqi man from Czechia who fought for IS faces up to 20 years in prison

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The Czech Public Prosecutor’s Office filed charges against an Iraqi citizen with permanent residence in the Czech Republic for flying from Prague to his homeland and participating in the combat and propaganda activities of the Islamic State (iS). The man faces from 12 to 20 years in prison and possibly forfeiture of his property.
The man, a native of Baghdad who had a permanent residence in the Czech Republic, traveled from Václav Havel Airport to Istanbul in January 2015. According to the public prosecutor, he left to join the IS fighters, which he succeeded in doing.
He came from Turkey to the territory of northern Iraq, which was then controlled by the IS. In April 2015, he allegedly took part in a combat offensive at Iraq’s main oil refinery in Bajji, and according to the indictment, he was “intending to inflict injury or death on opponents of the Islamic State“.
The prosecutor further stated that the man attacked the Iraqi army and coalition forces and was injured in a raid by a US guided missile.
The indictment reports that he subsequently appeared in an IS propaganda video where he said in Arabic “after the wind brought us your ammunition, this ammunition returns to suffocate you with its smoke with the permission of Allah, and we are now in the middle of the refinery”.
According to the indictment, the man also cooked food for other IS members at the scene of the fighting and later participated in the propaganda of the terrorist organization in Mosul, for which he received a salary at least from February 2016 to May 2017.
Furthermore, he allegedly worked as a teacher, in the department of aerial photography, in the department of daily press releases, and in the department of mujaheddin affairs.
The Prague City Court will start dealing with the case in January, in the man’s absence. This follows from the indictment, which was obtained by the Czech News Agency.
Father sent him life savings
The Czech Public Prosecutor’s Office previously also indicted the man’s father, who sent his son 54,000 korunas (€2,035) from Havlíčkův Brod to Mosul. He was given a three-year condition for the crime of terrorist financing.
“I sent him my life savings. I was internally ashamed of what my son had done. I don’t recognize the fight, that’s why I left Iraq. No one wants to live in a hell,“ said a small 74-year-old Iraqi, who has lived in the Vysočina region for 14 years and works in a forwarding company as a dispatcher.
At first, it seemed that the son would settle with his father in the Czech Republic, until his mother decided to raised him abroad. He found a girlfriend in the Czech Republic and wanted to study at a university there.
But then he began to change. He stopped shaving and cutting his hair and watched videos of people murdering, drowning prisoners in cages, and soaking them in acid. He also forced his pregnant girlfriend, with whom he had an Islamic marriage, to change her life completely.
In Iraq, the Islamic State was definitively defeated in December 2017, and in Syria last March. In Iraq and Syria, its isolated groups now operate, supported by related groups in Egypt and Somalia, for example.

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