Iraqi court sentences Belgian to death for joining Islamic State

Iraq on map
Iraq on map. [Photo credit: Operation World]

An Iraqi criminal court on Tuesday sentenced a Belgian man to death by hanging for joining the Islamic State extremist group.

The verdict against Tarek Gadaoun, known as Abu Hamza al-Beljiki, was issued by the Central Criminal Court in Baghdad.

Al-Beljiki, who has Moroccan origins, is a prominent foreign terrorist, who fought in the ranks of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, judicial spokesman Abdel-Sattar Bairaqdar said in a statement.

He took part in several terrorist operations and was in charge of training jihadists, he added.

The verdict can be appealed.

Hundreds of foreign fighters from Europe joined Islamic State after the al-Qaeda splinter group seized large swathes of territory in Iraq and neighbouring Syria in 2014.

Baghdad declared victory over Islamic State in December with the help of a U.S.-led alliance, having retaken all the territory captured by Islamic State in 2014 and 2015. (Reuters/NAN)

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