SARAJEVO — Mevlid Jašarević has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for attacking the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo in October 2011.
ašarević, Emrah Fojnic and Munib Ahmetspahić were charged with terrorism. Their helpers have been acquitted due to lack of evidence, Turkish Anadolu news agency has reported.
The Prosecution stressed during the proceeding that the goal of the group, which prepared for the attack in the village of Gornja Maoča known as a Wahhabi community, was a violent and terrorist attack against institutions and organs of Bosnia-Herzegovina and foreign embassies.
Jašarević’s attorney Senad Dupovac claimed that the Prosecution did not prove that this was a terrorist attack. According to him, his client did not come to the U.S. Embassy to kill anyone but to be killed, which would earn him a place in heaven as a martyr.
Jašarević tried to add a political dimension to the trial at the last hearing held on December 3.
He said that if the court convicted him of terrorism, it would not stop somebody else from doing the same thing, stressing that “there will be such attacks as long as Americans keep killing Muslims”.
Jašarević fired 105 shots from an automatic rifle at the U.S. Embassy on October 28, 2011, wounding a police officer who was stationed outside the building. He was arrested after a police sniper shot him in the leg.
Judge Branko Peric said that Jasarevic’s sentence was the harshest the court had ever pronounced for terrorism and should serve as a warning, the Associated Press reports.
He also expressed concern at the way Islamists in Gornja Maoca refused to recognise the authority of the Bosnian state.
“If there was no Gornja Maoca out of full state control, there probably would have not been Mevlid Jasarevic,” he said.