The terrorist who murdered four people in an attack with a Kalashnikov assault rifle on the Jewish Museum of Brussels in 2014 was sentenced this week to life in prison in the capital city of Belgium. Two of the dead were Israelis.
Mehdi Nemmouche, 33, a French-born terrorist of Algerian origin was convicted last week after a two-month-long trial, together with an accomplice, Nacer Bendrer, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Nemmouche trained for year with the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria before traveling to Belgium to carry out the attack.
The European Jewish Congress (EJC) welcomed the decision by the court to hand down a life sentence to Nemmouche.
“This appropriate sentence sends a message that terror and antisemitic attacks will be judged to the fullest extent of the law,” said EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor.
“The attack wasn’t only about the taking of individual lives but also an attack on Belgian society and its Jewish community, so it is vital that the sentence reflects the cruelty and barbarity of these crimes.”
“Following a trial where the resilience of Belgium’s institutions was tested by the use of disgraceful conspiracy theories by Nemmouche’s defense, it is comforting that the harshest of sentences has been handed down and a clear message was sent that terrorists deserve no clemency or leniency.”
The jury also handed down a 15 year sentence for Nacer Bendrer, 30, who was found guilty of being an accomplice to the attack because he supplied the weapons Nemmouche used.
“Bendrer’s sentence shows that every terrorist needs a network and if you are part of a network to murder and sow terror you should be sentenced as if you yourself pulled the trigger,” Dr. Kantor commented.
The European Jewish Congress is the Brussels-based representative organization of European Jewry.