Photo: Rolf Larsen.

Influencer Sentenced for Endorsing Terror Attack

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The influencer Ahmad Elchaabi – also know as Ahmarni – has been sentenced to four months of suspended imprisonment and community service in a case involving approval of terrorism.

The verdict was handed down on Thursday in the Copenhagen City Court.

On October 8th last year, Ahmad Elchaabi shared a video recording on Snapchat, where he has 80,000 followers, including many children. In the video, he says, among other things, “There are people down there who still haven’t been blown up. But 250 pieces, that’s not bad at all,” referring to Hamas’ attack on a music festival the day before, where more than 350 civilians were killed and many more injured, and where several hostages were also taken by the attackers back to Gaza.

According to the summary of the judgment, Ahmad Elchaabi explained in court that he was not aware of the factual circumstances of the attack and that he did not realize that it involved the killing of civilians at a festival. Furthermore, he explained that his post on Snapchat was intended solely as a humorous and satirical post. And he would not have shared his video post if he had known that civilians had been killed.

The summary of the judgment states that Ahmad Elchaabi, speaking to the media B.T. on October 16, 2023, made a distinction between “innocent civilians” and “civilians,” stating, among other things: “…When one advocates for occupation and killing of civilians, women, men, and children, then one is not innocent…” and “…I applaud the killings of the child murderers, oppressors, and Zionists…” The court therefore found that his statements to B.T. contrast with his explanation that he was not interested in politics and that the video post did not reflect his stance on the terrorist attack.

The 26-year-old influencer was found guilty of approving Hamas’ attack on the music festival, and the court chose to sentence him to four months of suspended imprisonment with the condition of 100 hours of community service. This means he avoids jail if he completes the community service.

“The court has assessed that the man’s statements in the video recordings amounted to approval of the attack on the music festival in Israel on October 7, 2023, and he has now been punished for it. Such expressions are harmful to our democratic society. Young people and others risk being influenced to have the most distorted view of one of the worst crimes imaginable,” said special prosecutor Søren Harbo from the Prosecution Authority at Copenhagen Police.

The judgment against the 26-year-old man is the first in a series of cases where individuals are charged with approving terrorism in connection with Hamas’ attack on October 7 last year.

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