PARIS, France ––A court in Senegal’s capital Dakar on Monday sentenced a Franco-Senegalese man to 15 years of hard labor for “terrorism” and has begun the trial of 30 other people facing similar charges.
Senegalese prosecutors had sought a life term for Ibrahima Ly, 34, the young Franco–Senegalese man who went to join the Islamic State in Syria.
Eyewitnesses and authorities say Ly’s phone had photos of him holding a gun and a video in which he exhorts Muslims to wage jihad against the West and others.
In court, Ly said he had gone to Syria to study the Koran and not to fight.
Ly, who is from the western Paris suburb of Trappes, had been in detention in Senegal for three years.
A release issue said the court also began the trial of 30 people, including an imam, who is accused of trying to create an “Islamic State base” in southern Senegal before extending it to nearby countries such as the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Alioune Ndao, an imam, and three female co-accused are suspected of planning suicide attacks targeting public buildings and French nationals.
Islamic State propaganda material, weapons, and money were found at the homes of the accused, who have all denied the allegations made against them.
According to recent statistics, more than 90 percent of Senegal’s population is Muslim, mostly Sufis. Unlike other West African nations, the country has escaped jihadist attacks up till now.
Intelligent sources say some individuals are planning to ensure that countries in West Africa subscribe to the Sharia Law. These individuals believe the best way to ensure this happens is to establish Islamic states throughout West Africa similar to what Boko Haram is seeking in Nigeria.