A Belgian former Islamic State fighter was released from detention by a judge despite confessing he decapitated an “enemy of Allah.”
Iliass Khayari, 25, returned home to Brussels in 2013 after a short career as an ISIS fighter in Syria. He was sentenced to five years in prison last week for participating in terrorist activities.
Police wiretapped Khayari’s phone shortly after he returned to Belgium in May 2013. He confessed to brutally decapitating a Syrian soldier during a conversation with a friend.
“It was an enemy of Allah, that’s why I cut his head off,” Khayari said in the recording, according to Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.
The prosecutor advised that Khayari should remain in detention as he poses a threat to the public. The judge couldn’t justify this assessment and decided to release Khayari until the appeals process is finalized, which could take several months.
Khayari left for Syria in late 2012, but returned to Belgium six months later after suffering a punctured lung from a bullet wound. He claims he volunteered at a hospital for moderate opposition forces.
The decapitation is not part of the trial, as investigators haven’t been able to figure out the circumstances around it.
The recordings further reveal that Khayari had a close relationship with former “Sharia4Belgium” leader Jean-Louis David. “Sharia4Belgium” recruited dozens of young Muslims to terrorist organizations, including a number of suspects from the Paris and Brussels terrorist attacks.
This report, by Jacob Bojesson, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.