Terrorist Internet plotter jailed
Algerian gets 10-year sentence
From CNN Madrid Bureau Chief Al Goodman
Ahmed Brahim denied having any links to the al Qaeda group.
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MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- A Spanish court has sentenced a 60-year-old Algerian man to 10 years in jail for trying to launch a Web site to recruit extremists and distribute fatwas supporting terrorist attacks, according to a copy of the sentence viewed by CNN.
A three-judge panel of the National Court issued the conviction and sentencing last Friday -- although it was not made public until Monday -- against Ahmed Brahim, an Algerian who had Spanish residency papers.
Brahim, who had no prior criminal record before his arrest in April 2002, was at that time "creating, to distribute by Internet, a Web page to teach the most radical and extremist Islamic content, that proposes 'holy war' against all those who don't share their beliefs," the court said in the 55-page ruling.
As part of a plan dating back to 1998, Brahim met with at least six al Qaeda or Islamic terrorist operatives, including Serhane Ben Abdelmajid Fakhet, a Tunisian who would later be implicated in the Madrid train bombings of 2004 that killed 191 people and wounded more than 1,740, the court said.
Brahim's other contacts included a senior al Qaeda operative identified by the court as Mahmoud Mahmoum Salim, who visited Brahim in 1998 at his home in Palma de Mallorca, on Spain's Mallorca island in the Mediterranean.
Salim was arrested in Germany soon after and extradited to the United States, where he was tried for links to the terrorist attacks on U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August 1998. He was convicted in 2002 and sentenced to life in prison for attempted murder, the National Court said, adding that during the trial, he had repeatedly stabbed a correctional officer official in the eyes with a sharp object.
Brahim and his wife had a business buying and selling yachts and other pleasure craft, but on the terrorist Web site, he aimed to distribute fatwas, or Islamic decrees, the court said, adding that fatwas have been used repeatedly to justify recent Islamic terrorist attacks.
"The project aimed to permit any Muslim access to the most radical preachers of holy war," the court said. It added that Brahim wanted to distribute the Web site in French so that it would reach more Muslims in the West who may know French better than Arabic.
Brahim, who denied any link to al Qaeda or any terrorist group at a nine-day trial earlier this year, has already served nearly four years of the 10-year-sentence, the court indicated.
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