Jewish Museum murderer convicted in Brussels | News | DW

Frenchman Mehdi Nemmouche was convicted by a jury on Thursday in Brussels for the murder of four people at the city’s Jewish Museum on May 24, 2014.

The 33-year-old was found guilty of committing “four terrorist murders” when he killed his victims in cold blood in less than 90 seconds. An Israeli couple and two museum workers were killed in the attack.

Sentencing will be announced at a later date, but he could face up to 30 years in prison.

The jury also found Nemmouche’s accomplice, Nacer Bendrer, guilty of supplying the revolver and assault rifle used in the attack.

A man lays flowers outside at the site of an anti-Semetic shooting at the Jewish Musuem in Brussels on May 25, 2014 (Reuters)

The shooting is seen as the first attack in Europe by an Islamist militant returning from fighting in Syria’s war

Jewish group slams ‘reprehensible tactics’ of defense team

The 33-year-old defendant denied the charges and told the court on Tuesday that he was “tricked.”

His lawyers argued he had been caught up in a plot organized by the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad. Nemmouche’s legal team claimed that video footage of the attack was faked and that the defendant was framed for the killing of two Mossad agents.

The defense’s arguments outraged the families of the victims as well as survivors of the attack.

The European Jewish Congress chief, Moshe Kantor, condemned “the use of reprehensible tactics and conspiracy theories [of] the defense lawyers.”

Sparking fears of attacks in Europe

Thursday’s verdict made Nemmouche the first European foreign fighter to be convicted of terrorism offenses.

Prosecutors argued that Nemmouche fought with the militant Islamic State (IS) group in Syria before returning to Europe and carrying out the attack.

The shooting at the museum has been regarded as the first to make clear the threat posed by radicalized militants returning to their home countries in Europe after fighting in Syria’s war.

rs/sms (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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