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Swedes get 11 years in prison for fighting alongside al-Shabaab

Published lördag 16 januari 2016 kl 10.37
Al-Shabaab fighters during military exercises in 2010. File photo: Mohamed Sheikh Nor / AP.
Al-Shabaab fighters during military exercises in 2010. File photo: Mohamed Sheikh Nor / AP.

A US court sentenced two Swedish citizens on Friday to 11 years in prison for fighting alongside the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab in Somalia.

The accused plead guilty earlier last year before their trial as part of a deal that saw their sentence reduced from 30-years-to-life to a maximum of 15 years.

The two men, aged 31 and 33, were arrested in August 2012 in the African nation of Djibouti after they illegally crossing the border from Somalia while trying to reach Yemen where, prosecutors allege, the pair was to join al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

They were taken to the US before being charged, along with a third Somali man who had lived in Britain, with terror crimes as part of the Somali Al Shabaab militia.

The two men, with Somali backgrounds, left Sweden in 2008 to fight with al-Shabaab. Their lawyers say the men were also tortured while in custody at a secret prison in Djibouti.

All three men face deportation following their release from prison.

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