Bosnia and Herzegovina: Suspected ISIS Recruiter's Trial Starts

Husein "Bilal" Bosnic received “vast sums'' of money from Arab countries to help fund Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), prosectors charged Wednesday at the opening of Bosnic's trial for organizing a terrorist group, publicly inciting terrorist activities, and recruiting locals to join a terrorist group.

Husein "Bilal" BosnicNonsense, Bosnic's defense lawyer countered: he was simply preaching Islamic teachings, and the trial is an unjustified attack on his religious freedom.

Bosnic was calmly sitting next to his lawyer throughout the hearing.

Prosecutor Dubravko Campara said statements Bosnic made at religious gatherings were also posted on Youtube during 2013 and 2014, and resulted in a number of local members of the Salafi movement leaving for Iraq and Syria to fight alongside ISIS.

He said prosecutors will prove that Bosnic received money from Arab countries, which he then forwarded to people either currently fighting or preparing to fight in Syria and Iraq. After the hearing, Bosnic's defense attorney, Adil Lozo, said that the indictment states a sum of 200,000 Bosnian marks (about US$115,000).

Campara quoted one of Bosnic's teachings: "A believer never loses hope. Do not die being anything different than a Muslim, because this is a preparation for Sharia law to rule the world. This is why we ask of Allah for our deaths to be as martyrs".

The defense claimed that Bosnic has merely been teaching Islamic principles at the gatherings, arguing that the case against him is an attack on religious freedom. Lozo said that the defense will heavily rely on the European Convention on Human Rights to prove that Bosnic is being discriminated against for voicing his religious beliefs.