Senegal imam school teacher jailed for condoning terrorism

2016-06-01 20:33

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Kolda - A Senegalese court on Wednesday sentenced a geography teacher to a year in jail for condoning terrorism while serving as an imam in his spare time.

The ruling in the southern town of Kolda comes at a time when fears of extremist infiltration are rattling west African governments after a string of attacks on civilian targets in the region.

Ibrahima Seye, a 38-year-old high school teacher, was sent down after his conviction in May for "proven sympathies for (extremist groups) Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Islamic State."

"Between Bin Laden and George Bush, I prefer Bin Laden," Seye told the court when he was convicted.

The court found he had preached against "western and American imperialism" in a sermon in September last year, adding that "all the soldiers sent to Mali are miscreants," referring to the Senegalese contingent of the UN Mali mission.

Seye confirmed this during his trial, adding "whoever fights under any other flag than that of Islam will go to hell."

Senegal and the United States signed a defence accord allowing "the permanent presence" of American soldiers last month to help fight against the terrorist threat of groups such as AQIM.

Senegal has up to now been spared the deadly jihadist attacks that have hit neighbouring countries, including 30 people killed in Burkina Faso's capital in January and 19 deaths at an Ivory Coast beach resort in March.

Read more on:    aqim  |  senegal  |  west africa

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