Bosnia jails 4 over bid to join IS in Syria (France24, Oct. 6)

A Bosnian judge on Tuesday jailed two men for trying to join jihadists in Syria and another pair for helping them, in the first verdict over Islamic State recruitment in the Balkan country.

Nevad Husidic, 29, and Merim Keserovic, 19, both received a year-long sentence for planning to join the Islamic State group in Syria.

And Husein Erdic, 33, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years for organising their trip, which took about a year.

Husidic and Keserovic were arrested in February at Sarajevo airport as they were about to travel to Turkey where a network was in place to help them reach Syria.

“Beginning in February 2014, Erdic led and organised — with others in Turkey — the journey of Nevad Husidic and Merim Keserovic to the Syrian front, with the ultimate goal of illegally joining the Islamic State terrorist organisation,” said Judge Biljana Cukovic.

She also sentenced a fourth man, 67-year-old Midhat Trako, to 18 months in prison for financing the trip.

Of the four, only Erdic was present for the verdict at the Sarajevo court.

Bosnia adopted a new law last year allowing for jail sentences of up to 20 years for jihadists and their recruiters.

“We are particularly pleased because this is the first time that a court has delivered a verdict in this type of case,” prosecutor Dubravko Campara told reporters.

About 200 Bosnian nationals have joined jihadist groups in Iraq or Syria, according to intelligence estimates quoted in local media earlier this year. Nearly 30 of them have been killed while another 40 or so have returned to Bosnia. […]