A 14-year-old boy was sentenced to two years of prison by an Austrian court, as he had wished to participate in the war in Syria. Reportedly he also had plans to commit terrorist attacks in Vienna. The ruling was issued on Tuesday by a regional court in St. Polten, the capital of the Lower Austria, west of Vienna.
The accused is a Turkish citizen, living in Austria for eight years. Following his parents’ divorce, he started watching online propaganda videos made by Islamic State seeking to recruit foreign fighters from Western countries, and later decided to travel to Syria to join the group.
Reportedly he had been told by someone that he could also participate in “holy war” in Austria, after which the boy surfed the Internet for instructions on how to make bombs. He also collected logistical information about how to carry out an attack in Westbahnhof, one of the two main railway stations in the Austrian capital.
Last year, the school which the boy was attending, reported him to the police. During the investigation, he confessed that he had been plotting terrorist attack, after which he was taken in by the police.
As reported by EFE, the Austrian national public service broadcaster, ORF, said that the accused must spend must spend at least eight months in prison and can only be released on parole if he sought psychological counseling.
The enclave resembles an encampment, filled with stationary vehicles and rough shelters with blankets or tarpaulins that could be seen flapping in the wind during a lull in fighting as people walked among them
U.S.-backed fighters said they had taken positions in Islamic State’s last enclave in eastern Syria and air strikes pounded the tiny patch of land beside the Euphrates River early on Monday, a Reuters journalist said.
Smoke rose over the tiny enclave as warplanes and artillery bombarded it. Another witness said the jihadists had earlier mounted a counter attack.
“Several positions captured and an ammunition storage has been blown up,” said Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia, on Twitter late on Sunday.
The enclave resembles an encampment, filled with stationary vehicles and rough shelters with blankets or tarpaulins that could be seen flapping in the wind during a lull in fighting as people walked among them.
Backed by air power and special forces from a U.S.-led coalition, the SDF has pushed Islamic State from almost the entire northeastern corner of Syria, defeating it in Raqqa in 2017 and driving it to its last enclave at Baghouz last year.
But while its defeat at Baghouz will end its control of populated land in the third of Syria and Iraq that it captured in 2014, the group will remain a threat, regional and Western officials say.
The SDF has waged a staggered assault on the enclave, pausing for long periods over recent weeks to allow surrendering fighters, their families and other civilians to pour out.
Since Jan. 9, more than 60,000 people have left the enclave, about half of them surrendering Islamic State supporters including some 5,000 fighters, the SDF said on Sunday.
People leaving the area have spoken of harsh conditions inside, under coalition bombardment and with supplies of food so scarce some resorted to eating grass.
Last month, the SDF said it had found a mass grave in an area it captured.
Still, many of those who left Baghouz have vowed their allegiance to the jihadist group, which last week put out a propaganda film from inside the enclave calling on its supporters to keep faith.
Suicide attacks on Friday targeted families of Islamic State fighters attempting to leave the enclave and surrender, killing six people, the SDF said.
Late on Sunday, the Kurdish Ronahi TV station aired footage showing a renewed assault on the enclave, with fires seen to be raging inside and tracer fire and rockets zooming into the tiny area.
The SDF and the coalition say the Islamic State fighters inside Baghouz are among the group’s most hardened foreign fighters, though Western countries believe its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has left the area. (VOA)