Former Bosnian member of Al-Nusra Front is now "completely deradicalised"

NEWS 23.01.2020 15:04
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Source: Fena / Sud BiH

According to experts, Munib Ahmetspahic, who is currently serving a three-year prison sentence for joining paramilitary organisations in the area of Syria and Iraq, is now “completely deradicalised.”

Ahmetspahic was sentenced in April 2019 after he admitted to joining paramilitary organisations and participating in battles and terrorist activities between 2013 and 2018.

He told the court he was manipulated into doing so.

“How naive it was from us to make such a decision,” he said at the time.

“I would advise the youth to not fall for these things. Whoever wants to fight for justice should do so through legal means,” he added.

The decision Ahmetspahic made in May 2013 cost him a lot. He lost his brother who left for Syria together with him, his leg, the years he spent on the battlefield and in pre-trial detention and the three years he was sentenced to.

According to experts, the process of deradicalisation is complex and that the same method will likely not work for everybody, as the processes of radicalisation and deradicalisation are individual and differ from one person to another.

The State Court has until now handed down rulings against 26 persons in 17 similar trials, yet Ahmetspahic’s case is unique.

Prosecutors had asked neuropsychiatrist Abdulah Kucukalic for an assessment.

“Based on our examination, we got the impression that he had no inclination toward simulating, his statement was authentic. He could have tried to soften what he felt and told us, but he chose not to,” Kucukalic told Bosnia’s Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN).

Ahmetspahic was previously cleared of charges that he destroyed evidence in the case against Mevlid Jasarevic, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for shooting at the building of the US Embassy in Sarajevo in 2011.