German court sentences Iraqi to 5 1/2 years for supporting terror group

A German court on Monday sentenced an Iraqi man to 5 1/2 years in prison for supporting an extremist group believed to have been behind attacks in his homeland. The Munich state court found that Ferhad Kanabi Ahmad, a 36-year-old Iraqi Kurd, gave the equivalent of $8,935 to a member of Ansar al-Sunna in Germany “and so supported terror in Iraq.” It stopped just short of the prosecution’s call for a six-year sentence. The defense had called for Ahmad to be acquitted. The defendant stayed silent during the yearlong trial, and the prosecutors’ case relied heavily on intercepted phone calls and e-mails. Ansar al-Sunna is the successor to Ansar al-Islam, which was formed in the Kurdish parts of Iraq and is believed to include former al-Qaida members who fled the U.S.-led ouster of Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers. The organizations are suspected of involvement in a string of deadly attacks on U.S. troops and Iraqi police as well as foreign embassies, international organizations and rival Iraqi groups.