A Muslim “refugee” who worked as a preacher at an Islamic Center in Graz, Austria, has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for acting as a recruiter for other Muslims to join ISIS.
Mirsad O.—also known as Ebu Tejma—was yesterday found guilty of membership in a terrorist organization and incitement to murder, assault, and terrorism.
The prosecution revealed that Mirsad O. had recruited “dozens” of Muslims aged between 14 and 30 to go and fight for ISIS in Syria. His trial has been underway since February this year.
He was a “refugee” into Austria who “fled” from Bosnia at the time of the break-up of Yugoslavia, and preached in various Austrian and southern German cities, becoming a “key figure” in pushing IS propaganda, the prosecution said.
He entered Austria at the age of eleven with his family, after they had first settled in Saudi Arabia. Despite being in a safe country, his family was able to apply—and get—“refugee” status from the Austrian government, and moved to Vienna.
He worked as a religion teacher in a now-closed “Egyptian-Austrian” school, and then as a preacher in mosques all over Austria.
Mirsad O. acquired near pop star status on Youtube and had his own CD sales business. Unlike many other preachers, many of his sermons were in the German language, directed at the growing numbers of nonwhite invaders resident in Austria and Germany.
A German terrorism expert Guido Steinberg, who testified for the prosecution, told the court that Mirsad O.’s sermons had had a “significant impact throughout the German-speaking countries.”
“He called for jihad, and for the individual’s duty to take up armed struggle,” Steinberg said.
A second accused—another “refugee” from Chechnya by the name of Mucharbek T., was sentenced to 10 years for his involvement in recruiting fighters, as well as taking part in IS attacks in Syria.
According to the prosecution, Mucharbek T. participated in ISIS massacres of civilians in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Several trials are currently underway in Austria for involvement in, or incitement to, jihad.
Authorities suspect some 250 Muslims in Austria of jihad-linked activities, the majority of them from Chechnya or Bosnia. At least 60 of the nonwhites who travelled from Austria have died fighting for ISIS, according to the interior ministry.