Africa

Al-Shabab members jailed for plotting Somali blasts

Members of al-Shabab in Mogadishu, Somalia, 16 November 2010
Image caption Members of al-Shabab in Mogadishu, Somalia

A Swedish court has sentenced two members of the hardline Islamist group al-Shabab to four years in prison for planning "terrorist crimes".

The two Swedish citizens of Somali origin were found guilty of planning suicide attacks in Somalia.

The men were arrested in May and June as part of an investigation into Somalia-linked terrorist activities.

Al-Shabab and their allies control most of the south and centre of the east African country.

The Gothenburg district court said the men, aged 23 and 26, had intended to destabilise Somalia, cause fear among the population and interfere with the work of organisations such as the UN and the African Union.

Al-Shabab operatives have carried out several suicide attacks in Somalia against the UN-backed government and African Union peacekeepers.

The Islamist insurgents have admitted having links to al-Qaeda, and there are numerous reports of foreign jihadists going to Somalia to help al-Shabab.

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