Norwegian prosecutor wants jail for duo supporting Islamic State


isA Norwegian prosecutor Tuesday requested jail terms of at least six years for two men charged with supporting the militant Islamic State group as their trial closed in the Norwegian capital of Oslo.

The two men, who went on trial in May, were charged with travelling to Syria in 2014 to train with Islamic State and planning acts of terrorism.

Prosecutor Frederik Ranke said joining Islamic State in 2014 showed they had terrorism plans, citing that the militant group was then known for bombing civilians and beheading hostages, Norwegian news agency NTB reported from the Oslo District Court.

A 23-year-old Russian national from Chechnya should be sentenced to seven-and-half years, Ranke said, while a 46-year-old Norwegian-Pakistani man should get a six-year sentence.

Ranke noted the second man had only spent one month in Syria.

Since 2014, Norwegian authorities have stepped up efforts to investigate foreign fighters who have returned to Norway. The goal is to stem the flow of volunteers.

The steps have indeed deterred some individuals from becoming fighters, the police security service PST said.

The younger man returned to Norway a year ago and was kept under surveillance by the PST, which suspected him of planning a new trip to Syria. The two were arrested in July.

The older defendant denied supporting Islamic State and planning terrorism. He said he went to Syria to fight with another group and to help his son return to Norway.

The son is serving an eight-year sentence for supporting Islamic State.

A recent PST estimate said at least 40 people from Norway were in Syria and Iraq.

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