(March 12, 2019 / JNS) Mehdi Nemmouche, a French jihadist convicted of killing four people at the Jewish Museum of Brussels in Belgium in May 2014, was convicted of “terrorist murder” last week and will spend the rest of his life in prison, according to the Brussels criminal court on Tuesday.
Nemmouche, who shot his victims in less than 90 seconds with a handgun and a Kalashnikov rifle, smirked as jurors left the courtroom to determine his sentence, saying “life goes on” and expressed no remorse for his crime.
Two of his victims were Israeli couple Miriam and Emmanuel Riva, whose two teenage daughters were orphaned by the crime, which was carried about by ISIS fighters.
Nemmouche asserted that the Rivas were Mossad intelligence agents, and that someone else had been involved in their killing.
A young Jewish Belgian guarding at the museum was also killed, as well as a French woman.
Nemmouche fought in Syria for a year for the Islamic State group before returning to Europe.
Nacer Bendrer, who was found guilty of helping to plan the attack and provide weapons, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Bendrer expressed contrition for his part in the crime, and said Nemmouche is “not even a man, he’s a monster.”
Both men will serve out their sentences in France.
“Mr. Nemmouche, you are just a coward; you kill people by shooting them from behind, you kill old women by shooting them with an assault rifle, you kill because it gives you pleasure to kill,” prosecutor Yves Moreau said in court.
Moreau urged the jury to hand down the maximum sentence, saying that “if you say that in Belgium one can be a terrorist without being punished very severely, then we must not be surprised to see people arrive in this country with bombs or assault rifles in their suitcases.”
The slaying took place a year-and-a-half before a series of coordinated attacks in Paris left 130 people dead in November 2015.
Nemmouche is accused of taking part in the illegal imprisonment of four French journalists in Aleppo in 2013. Two of the journalists identified Nemmouche as the man who forcibly detained them.