A French-born jihadist, who spent a year fighting in Syria for the Islamic State (IS) group, has been given a life sentence for the murder of four people in an anti-Semitic attack in Belgium.
Mehdi Nemmouche, 33, opened fire with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and a handgun at Brussels’ Jewish Museum in May 2014.
Three people died at the scene and one died later in hospital.
A man who helped plan the attack and provided the weapons, Nacer Bendrer, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Nemmouche and Bendrer were found guilty last week after a two-month-long trial involved apparent witness intimidation and testimony from former captives of IS in Syria.
Bendrer, who is also French, told the court: “I am ashamed to have crossed paths with this guy [Nemmouche]. He is not a man, he is a monster.”
When asked to speak, Nemmouche reportedly said with a smirk: “Life goes on.”
Nemmouche’s lawyers tried to suggest that he had been framed in an elaborate conspiracy which blamed the murders on foreign intelligence agencies. But they produced no evidence to support the claim.
Two Israeli tourists, a volunteer worker and a receptionist were killed in the attack on the museum.
Who is Mehdi Nemmouche?
He is believed by Belgian prosecutors to be the first European jihadist to return from war-torn Syria to carry out terror attacks in Europe.
He was born into a family of Algerian origin in the northern French town of Roubaix.
He was previously known to French…