It is the first time a Czech citizen has been charged with the crime.
By BOHEMIST STAFF
PRAGUE – A local mechanic caught attempting to join the Islamic State (IS) in January has been formally charged with attempted terrorism by a regional court in Plzen yesterday, becoming the first Czech citizen to be charged with the crime, according to international news.
The man, thus far only identified as Jan S., was arrested at an international airport in Turkey after the authorities there apprehended him while carrying a plane ticket to a Turkish town near the Syrian border, where he planned to join the terrorist group.
“This is the first time a Czech citizen has been charged with this crime,” said David Unger, a spokesman for the regional court in Plzen, told the media.
Following his detention in Turkey, the 25-year-old man was returned to the Czech Republic where he was questioned by police officers until admitting his intentions. He was arrested two weeks ago.
As of now, little is known about the young mechanic and it is not yet clear how he became radicalized, if at all as there have been cases in other countries where disturbed men have reached out to terrorist blocks as a way of thrill-seeking.
President Miloš Zeman has increasingly made his position on the matter known and just days ago advised Czech citizens to arm themselves as a way to combat potential terrorist threats.
“In the past, I was against the possession of a too high number of arms, but I changed my mind after the attacks,” he said at the time.
The Czech Republic, a country of just over 10.5 million people has only around 20,000 Muslims.