Austrian man convicted for plans to attack German sites
VIENNA (AP) — An Austrian court convicted a 19-year-old man on Friday of involvement in plans for two Islamic extremist attacks in Germany, one of which was supposed to be carried out by a 12-year-old boy.
The defendant was convicted Friday at the Vienna state court of two counts of attempted incitement to murder as a terrorist crime, as well as membership in a terrorist organization and other offenses, the Austrian Press Agency reported. He was given a nine-year sentence.
The Austrian of Albanian descent was accused of trying to incite an already radicalized 12-year-old to attack a Christmas market in Ludwigshafen in 2016, and plotting an attack on the United States’ Ramstein Air Base along with a 16-year-old girl.
During his trial, he denied giving any orders and said that, while he had considered targeting Ramstein, he had dropped the idea. He was arrested in Vienna in January 2017 following tips from German authorities.
The defendant testified he became a supporter of the Islamic State group following a previous jail term for robbery.
Defense lawyer Wolfgang Blaschitz asked for time to consider whether to appeal and argued that a nine-year sentence is “way too much.”
He added that “the deradicalization process is underway concerning his membership in IS.”