Three Czech nationals prosecuted for terrorist activities

  • Matěj Novák
  • 23.1.2018 18:26

According to a report by the MF Dnes newspaper from 23 January, three Czech citizens have been accused of terrorism - a former imam, Samer Shehadeh, now hiding in Mauritania, his brother Omar and Omar's wife Fatima, who are now in Syria. The newspaper, part of a trust fund controlled by PM Andrej Babis, who called for President Zeman's reelection in the coming presidential election, only made this information public three days before the election even though all the accused have already been abroad for over six months.

The Shehadeh brothers are of Palestinian origin and were born in Prague. Samer went to study Islamic law in Jordan and Saudi Arabia before returning to Prague and becoming an imam in a local mosque but eventually left due to internal disagreements. Samer has previously been monitored by intelligence services in 2016 when he urged other Muslims not to attend worship services against terrorism with Christians. His brother Omar went to Idlib, Syria in October 2016 and joined the terrorist organization Jabhat Fatah ash-Sham. The 24-year-old Fatima, named Kristyna before her conversion, was tracked down in Turkey and returned to the Czech Republic when she first attempted to join Omar. Subsequently, she was assisted by Samer, who approved Omar's actions as evidenced by the imam's electronic communications. However, this is a unique case and the risk for the Czech Republic is low, according to the intelligence services, as the local Muslim community of about 22,000 people is passive, well integrated and only about a thousand members feel the need to be religiously organised.

About author: Matěj Novák

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