BRUSSELS – Belgian national media say an influential recruiter for armed Islamic groups in Syria has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Khalid Zerkani, handed the sentence late Thursday afternoon by a Brussels appeals court, had already been found guilty of recruiting Belgian candidates for jihad in 2012-2014.
Among Zerkani's recruits were two Brussels residents, Abdelhamid Abaaoud and Chakib Akrouh, who helped staged the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people. Abaaoud and Akrouh themselves died soon afterward in a police siege.
The Associated Press couldn't immediately verify Zerkani's sentencing with Belgian court or government officials, but it was widely reported by Belgian media. They said the appellate court sentence affirmed Zerkani's previous conviction on charges of participating in the activities of a terrorist group as its director.