A 25-year-old Norwegian who’d encouraged terrorist acts online has been sentenced to 12 years in jail by the Oslo County Court. It’s the first time such online activity has resulted in a conviction, and the man’s defense attorney immediately appealed, also over the length of his sentence.
The defendant had been indicted for three attempts to encourage terrorism in London, Denmark and another country via a chat group he administered. He was also charged with having taken part in the terror group IS. He was found guilty on all counts except for encouraging terrorism in the unidentified country.
The court ruled that the 25-year-old’s support for terrorism online must be equated with physically taking part in IS as a foreign warrior, especially since he was as active as he was. He was also viewed as justifying terrorist activity.
Prosecutors had sought a 15-year jail term but were pleased by the court’s verdict. “Only the Breivik case and the Manshaus case are more serious, in our opinion,” Prosecutor Geir Evanger told state broadcaster NRK when the verdict came down last week.
Defense attorney Brynjar Meling insisted his client had no terror intentions and couldn’t understand that his “chatting” could lead to any terrorism. “It’s very unusual that only chatting could lead to such a strong prison term,” Meling told NRK.