An attorney for Norwegian terror defendant Ishaq Ahmed, age 24, told state broadcaster NRK on Tuesday that his client had dropped his appeal of an eight-year prison term for having served with the Islamic extremist organization IS in Syria – because of IS’ attacks on Paris Friday night.
Defense attorney Thomas Randby told NRK that Ahmed didn’t think he would get a fair trial and he also seemed upset by the attacks themselves. “He has distanced himself from the attacks,” Randby told NRK.
Randby added that his client believes that “the climate that now exists in discussions around the civil war in Syria” will make it difficult for him to get a fair trial. The attacks “have set an even more negative focus on everyone who, rightly or wrongly, can be tied to IS.”
He stressed that his client still believes his conviction on terror charges was wrong, but that he preferred to simply start serving his jail time.
Prosecutor Geir Evanger said he was surprised by the Ahmed’s decision. “I have heard that the terror attacks had something to do with the reason, and now acknowledge that he accepts a prison term of eight years,” Evanger told NRK. It thus becomes the first sentence to be served by a returning jihadist in Syria.