The court in Koblenz followed the federal prosecutor's sentencing recommendation after the man, identified only as Aleem N., was found guilty of belonging to the terror group as wella as breaching international trade law and a European Union embargo. The court also found that the 47-year-old had collected donations of at least €78,000 to fund the terrorist organisation headed by Osama bin Laden.
The defendant, who maintained throughout the trial he is not a terrorist, was reportedly “unmoved” by the sentence.
Officials also believe Aleem N. recruited fighters for the organisation and at least two other al Qaida arrests made in Germany have been linked back to the jewel dealer from Germersheim in Rheinland-Palatainate.
At the time of his arrest, police found a number of recruitment videos, propaganda as well as documentation of executions and attacks. Officials also said that between April 2005 and June 2007, the jewel dealer travelled to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border four times. On the last visit, Aleem N. admitted he injured his right arm during an explosives training in the region. He has been in custody since February 14, 2008.
The trial lasted seven months, in which 59 witnesses from around the world were heard as well as six experts. More than 1,000 documents were brought into evidence.