A court in Sweden on Wednesday sentenced two Swedish citizens of Somali descent to four years each in prison after finding them guilty of "planning terrorist crimes" in Somalia.
The court said in its ruling that the prosecution had successfully established that the two men had plotted with the al-Shabaab insurgent group in Somalia to carry out suicide attacks in the troubled African country.
The two men, identified as Mohamoud Jama and Bille Ilias Mohamed, were arrested in the cities of Gothenburg and Stockholm in May and June this year. The arrests were the result of an investigation conducted by the Swedish security police.
The two men were accused of plotting to carry out suicide attacks in Somalia, with the aim of "murdering" or "maiming" a large number of people and causing "massive damage to property."
In earlier hearings at the district court in the west coast city of Gothenburg, the men had denied the charges. They, however, admitted to visiting Somalia and supporting the ideals of al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-linked Islamist insurgent group in Somalia.
The evidence presented against them by the prosecution included wiretapped telephone conversations which showed that the accused were in contact with the al-Shabaab leadership in Somalia, and were planning to launch suicide attacks in the African country with the blessings of the terror group.
Al-Shabaab, the military wing of the Islamist movement ousted by Ethiopia-backed Somali forces in 2006, is Somalia's most prominent and influential Islamist militant group. It is listed a terrorist organization by the United States and most of the international community.
The al-Qaeda-linked insurgent group has claimed responsibility for the deadly suicide bombings that killed more than 70 football fans watching live telecast of the World Cup final in the Ugandan capital city of Kampala in July this year.
The group said the suicide attacks in Kampala was in retaliation to the presence of Ugandan troops in Somalia as part of the African Union peacekeeping mission deployed there. The claim prompted the African Union to pledge an additional 2,000-strong force for the Somali mission.
by RTT Staff Writer
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