14 Bulgarians sentenced for supporting Islamic State

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Ahmed Mussa, a radical imam and 13 others have been sentenced by a Bulgarian court for propagating religious hatred and incitement to war in their support for the Islamic State militant group.

Mussa, who is already serving four years in jail for spreading radical Islam, was sentenced by the regional court in the southern city of Pazardzhik to eight and a half years.

His supporters, men from the southern towns of Plovdiv, Pazardzhik and Asenovgrad, also received jail sentences of between one and three and a half years.

The only woman in the group, however, got a suspended sentence.

The trial of Mussa and his supporters began in 2016 following an investigation into suspected sympathizers of Islamic State in southern Bulgaria.

In late 2014, investigators discovered a large number of shirts, hats, flags and banners with the logo of the Islamic State after raiding over 40 homes and a mosque in southern Bulgaria.

Prosecutors said Mussa had preached surrounded by the Islamic State flags and his group had attempted to recruit fighters for the militant group which had at the time seized parts of Syria and Iraq.




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