Moroccan asylum-seeker gets life for Finland stabbing

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A Moroccan asylum-seeker was convicted Friday of two terror-related murders and eight attempted murders and given a life sentence for a stabbing attack in southwestern Finland last year, in the first terror trial in the Nordic country.

The southern Finland district court found Abderrahman Bouanane, an alleged sympathizer of the Islamic State group, was guilty of the Aug. 18 stabbing rampage in Turku.

Bouanane, who is in his early 20s, had pleaded guilty but denied committing a terrorist act as prosecutors had alleged. They said he was motivated largely by hatred after heavy bombardments by the Western alliance in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

A life sentence in Finland is on average between 12 and 20 years with most serving 14-16 years.

Prosecutor Hannu Koistinen said Bouanane wanted to spread fear among citizens and likely wished to be shot by police and die as a martyr. He told investigators that his initial plan was to decapitate his victims.

Bouanane was stopped by police who shot him in the thigh after the stabbing rampage in Turku's main market square.

Defense lawyer Kaarle Gummerus said Bouanane, who arrived in Finland in 2016, had only become radicalized shortly before the attack, so it could not be described as a planned terror offense.

Investigators said the fact that his asylum application was rejected likely wasn't a motive for the attack.

People also read these

Canadian polygamous leader found guilty of having...

Jul 25, 2017

A former bishop of an isolated polygamous commune in Canada has been convicted of practicing...

UK PM, Trudeau say Canada-EU deal a 'basis' for...

Sep 18, 2017

Prime ministers Theresa May of Britain and Justin Trudeau of Canada say their countries are working...

Canadian retailers see potential NAFTA change as...

Sep 22, 2017

Canadian retailers fear their survival is at stake if a change to the North American Free Trade...

Canadian tells of Somalia abduction as trial...

Oct 5, 2017

The trial of a Somalia man accused of kidnapping Canadian freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout has...

Ex-hostages back in Canada after harrowing raid...

Oct 14, 2017

A couple held hostage for five years by a Taliban-linked extremist network in Afghanistan is safely...

Sign up now!