Manama- Bahrain Court of Appeal commuted prison sentences of eight defendants accused of establishing a branch of ISIS in Bahrain.
The High Court of Appeal upheld the decision to revoke the nationalities of the eight convicts who had joined ISIS, reducing the prison sentences from 15 to eight years.
Among the defendants whose sentences were commuted were Abdullah al-Binali, the second defendant in the case of the brother of ISIS religious theorist Turki al-Binali, who assured the court that he is proud of joining the organization.
Twenty-four men were tried in connection with this case in June 2016, but only eight appealed the sentences as the rest are at large.
Turki had earlier handed down life imprisonment, while his other co-defendants were given 15 years behind bars each. The eight appellants’ jail terms have been slashed to 10 years in prison each.
Aged between 16 and 42, the defendants were charged in October last year with forming a cell of the ISIS group, plotting suicide attacks and recruiting militants for the organization.
The defendants were said to have been planning to carry out a suicide bombing in a local mosque.
The mastermind of the cell was Turki who is believed to have recruited dozens of Bahraini youth and sent them to the frontlines outside the country. The suspects also include two of Binali’s brothers (the second and third defendants).
The second defendant reportedly traveled to Syria where he received military training and took part in hostilities before returning to Bahrain.
He, along with the third defendant, were assigned later by their brother Turki to encourage more young Bahrainis to join ISIS and facilitate their travel to Syria to receive militia training and fight with ISIS members.
The fourteenth defendant is said to have requested the fifth defendant to carry out a terrorist attack in Bahrain because there wasn’t sufficient money to help him travel to Syria.
Turki was charged with establishing a branch for a terrorist organization intended to disable the provisions of the Constitution and prevent state institutions and public authorities from exercising their business by means of terror.
The other defendants were indicted for joining a terrorist organization, receiving militia training, using arms, possessing weapons and explosives, participating in terrorist operations and planning to carry out terrorist attacks in Bahrain.
In October 21, Bahrain charged 24 people with forming a cell of ISIS, plotting suicide bombings and recruiting militants. The move came after investigations into the formation of a “branch for a terrorist group, ISIS,” said a prosecution statement.