Brothers found guilty of training for terror

Both men sentenced to three and a half years after damning audio from phone conversations suggested that they intended to embark on a murderous rampage in Europe

The two Danish-Somali brothers who were accused of financing terror and training for terrorist acts last month were found guilty today in Aarhus.

The brothers, aged 19 and 24, were each handed prison sentences of three and a half years by presiding judge Poul Holm, who put emphasis on a number of phone conversations between the 24-year-old brother, who was in Somalia between November 2011 and March 2012, and the 19-year-old in Aarhus.

On sound recordings from the conversations, the older brother said that he would “assemble a whole group [to] go to Europe and murder everything”. The judge and all the jury members, aside from one, found that the brothers were training for terror purposes.

The Aarhus case was unusual as it was the first time individuals were convicted of receiving training and preparing for a terror attack while in a foreign-based terror training camp. 

The two brothers were also charged with providing financial support to al-Shabaab – which is considered a terrorist organisation by several European countries, the US, Canada and Australia – but were found not guilty on that charge.

The state prosecutor, Torben Thygesen, had argued that the brothers intended to carry out a terror act at a later time.

“The distance from receiving terror training to attempting a terror act at a later point is not far,” Thygesen said in his closing arguments when advocating for the younger brother to receive the same punishment as the elder. “When you are together in the deed, then the punishment should be the same.”

The brothers' lawyers appealed the decision.