Belgian judge sentences jihadists to up to 16 years in prison

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 05, 2016 10:02 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A Belgian judge on Tuesday handed out sentences of up to 16 years to members of an Islamic State cell dismantled in a bloody raid in the town of Verviers last year.

Prosecutors said the men standing trial were in constant contact with Islamic State in Syria through the leader of the Paris Jihadist attacks Abdelhamid Abaaoud and were planning an attack in Belgium.

"For Abaaoud and the Verviers cell the (Brussels) airport at Zaventem constituted a target," judge Pierre Hendrickx said.

Abaaoud was shot dead in a gun battle with French police five days after the attacks in Paris.

(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Robin Emmott)