(photo credit: AP)
MONTREAL — A judge sentenced a Canadian resident to life in prison on Wednesday for his role in a terror plot against Germany and Austria.
Said Namouh, a Moroccan who has lived in Quebec since 2003, was found guilty last October of four terrorism-related charges stemming from a plan to bomb targets in Germany and Austria.
Namouh, 37, was arrested in 2007 for his alleged role in making threats in an Internet video which warned that Germany and Austria would be attacked if they did not pull their troops out of Afghanistan.
He was involved with the Global Islamic Media Front, an al-Qaida propaganda group increasingly tied to terrorism operations. Three Austrian citizens of Arab origin were arrested in Vienna in 2007.
Quebec court Judge Claude Leblond said Namouh remains dangerous and remorseless.
Canada already has begun procedures to have him deported to his native Morocco.
Namouh was found guilty of one count each of conspiracy to detonate an explosive device, participating in a terrorist act, facilitating an act of terrorism and committing extortion for a terrorist group.
Part of the evidence against Namouh included a report that indicated a wide-ranging hit list of possible targets.
They included Vienna-based OPEC, prominent German and Austrian government officials and politicians, as well as the Euro 2008 soccer tournament.
The evidence presented during his trial showed that Namouh spent countless hours on jihad forums and preparing propaganda videos.
"The zeal he showed in his participation in the activities of the GIMF and, more particularly, the incitation to violent jihad also show he is a danger," Leblond wrote.
"We don't know when, if ever, he'll cease to be dangerous."
The prosecution got the life sentence it wanted.
"The message is for people, not only in this country but abroad also," federal prosecutor Dominique Dudemaine said. "You cannot come into Canada to carry out a plot here or elsewhere. We are not a safe haven."
Namouh's lawyer had argued for a short sentence. He called the evidence overblown and said Namouh's writings had been misinterpreted. Lawyer Rene Duval said he may file an appeal, and has 30 days to take a closer look at the judgment.
Namouh's co-accused, an Austrian man named Mohammed Mahmoud, described as a leader of the GIMF, was quickly sentenced in Austria but received a brief sentence.