MADRID – A Moroccan woman who is on trial in Spain on suspicion of having given her twin sons permission to travel to Syria to fight for the Islamic State terror organization said on Tuesday she felt remorse over recent terror attacks in northeastern Catalonia.
The woman showed regret for her actions before the judge, leading the prosecutor to lower the requested sentence from seven years to two, meaning she would not need to serve time in prison given it was her first offense, something with which her defense lawyer, Jacobo Teijelo, agreed.
During questioning by her lawyer, the accused – who lives with her family in Badalona, near Barcelona – condemned the recent terror attacks in Catalonia, saying: “they caused great pain in my heart.”
She recalled that she was one of the first Muslim women to go out and protest against the attacks, describing them as “inhuman” and “nothing to do with Islam.”
At the National Court, the woman – whose eldest son died fighting with the IS in Syria – acknowledged collaborating with a terror organization.
Teijelo said the twins, who were sentenced to 18 months in prison for integration in a terror organization, were already being rehabilitated after their sentences were replaced by a period of probation.
She acknowledged that in 2014, when the twins were 16 years old, they traveled to Morocco to learn the Koran, where they were allegedly radicalized by a young man.
Her sons remained in contact with the recruiter after returning home, and although she did not want them to travel, she finally gave them permission.
She acknowledged that she had been wrong to do so.
“I know I should have told the authorities” about the radicalization, she said, “I was wrong because this wasn’t a good path.”
The prosecutor asked what she would say to her sons now to stop them going down this route: “I say to all sons of Muslims and all mothers of young people that violence doesn’t lead anywhere and if they see suspicious or violent movements or an intention to join any organization they should tell the authorities.