French Islamist gets 17 years for Brussels stabbing
A Belgian court on Tuesday sentenced a French radical Islamist to 17 years in prison for stabbing two police officers in Brussels last year in the wake of clashes over Belgium's ban on Muslim women wearing the full niqab veil.
Brahim Bahrir, a 35-year-old Parisian, attacked the officers at a metro station in June 2012. He said he was protesting against the ban, which was introduced in 2011, and the presence of "infidels" in Afghanistan.
The officers, a man and a woman, were lightly injured.
Bahrir was found guilty of "attempted murder for terrorist motives" even though his lawyers had argued that he had no intention of killing, Belga news agency reported.
Belgian police had clashed with youths earlier in June 2012 after a Muslim woman was detained for wearing the niqab.
Sharia4Belgium, a radical campaign group, defended the woman.
The group's leader has been convicted of inciting hatred and is suspected of arranging for young Belgian Muslims to travel to Syria and fight against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
© 2013 AFP