A Syrian asylum seeker has been convicted of planning a terrorist attack in Denmark with a homemade bomb made of sulphur stripped from more than 17,000 matchsticks.
"The accused has been preparing for terrorism," the court said in its ruling. "In November 2016 he was an Isis sympathizer. He was ready to perform jihad [to fight for his beliefs] and called to be a martyr."
The alleged Isis sympathizer was in October 2017 awarded 97,000 Swedish kronor in damages by a Swedish court after he was found innocent of an arson attempt against a Shia mosque. The man was kept in pre-trial detention for four months because of the case. But he was arrested by Danish police two months later on suspicions of planning to "randomly kill or hurt several people in an unknown location in Copenhagen".
The matches were discovered in a back bag carried by a 21-year-old Syrian man, Dieab Khadigah, as he was crossing the border from Germany to Denmark in November 2016. The bag also contained two walkie talkies and six kitchen knives, and German police found instructions by al-Qaida for making a bomb on the man's phone.
The Syrian has already been sentenced to six and a half years in prison in Germany. "My mission was to carry the bag to Copenhagen and leave it with a contact at the railway station," he told a German court.
The Malmö-based man denied throughout the trial that he was an Isis sympathizer, saying that he had downloaded films by the group, which were found on his computer, out of curiosity. But three judges and six jurors dismissed his explanations after it emerged he had searched for and watched footage of several ISIS executions and posted multiple videos on social media that could be interpreted as goodbyes.
During the case, bomb experts from Danish armed forces tested the would-be bomb using the al-Qaida instruction manual. They found that 17,000 matches could produce 237 grams of explosive sulphur - enough for small but potentially lethal blast that could strike people within a distance of 50 metres.
The court is expected to hand down a sentence on May 30th.
Not to minimize the intent of the would be bomber, but there isn't enough oxidizer in a match head to construct a bomb. That's why matches don't explode when struck. We should be thankful that most of these wannabe terrorists are as ignorant as they are.
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