First Slovak Islamist jailed in Prague

Dominik Kobulnický changed his name to Abdul Rahman.

Dominik Kobulnický, who changed his name to Abdul Rahman, is the first Islamist from Slovakia to be jailed for the propagation of terrorismDominik Kobulnický, who changed his name to Abdul Rahman, is the first Islamist from Slovakia to be jailed for the propagation of terrorism(Source: FB Abdul Rahman)

The first Slovak citizen to become an Islamist was sentenced to prison for terrorism, in the Czech Republic.

The Prague court jailed 26-year-old Dominik Kobulnický from the eastern Slovak village of Šarišské Michaľany, for six and a half years and extradited him to Slovakia on November 15, the Denník N daily reported.

“It offends me that such dirt is thrown at me,” Kobulnický said in court, as quoted by the daily. “I hope my name will be cleared.”

Although the Slovak citizen was charged with the preparation of a terrorist attack, he was sentenced for the propagation of terrorism and being a general threat. He can still appeal, though.

Conversion

Kobulnický grew up in a strong Christian family. He was introverted in school but secretly watched videos posted by jihadists online. He became so captivated he decided to convert to Islam in 2015, Denník N wrote.

Nobody in his family understood his decision. At that time, he had already worked in the Czech town of Pardubice just like his father. Soon after, he began visiting a small Turkish mosque in Hradec Králové, 30 km away from Pardubice. He studied Islam.

Simultaneously, he was planning a terrorist attack on the bus station in Prešov, eastern Slovakia, as reported by Denník N. He did not carry out the attack in the end.

When he appeared in the mosque wearing military clothes, he was recommended to leave. He moved to Prague at the turn of 2015 and 2016. Kobulnický was then 21 years old and was soon radicalised by the Prague-based Imam Sámer Shehadeh.

The 35-year-old imam, who became Kobulnický’s role model, is nowadays accused of supporting the military group Fatah Al Sham.

Arrest

In 2017, the Czech police arrested the Slovak Islamist in his rented room in Prague for suspicion of planning a terrorist attack. They found military clothing, videos in Arabic and four kilograms of pyrotechnic compounds under his bed.

He presented his new life also on Facebook. In his phone the police even discovered a picture of a decapitated cat.

“I saw how Islamic State fighters captured and executed their prisoners by cutting their heads off and placing them on their bodies,” he explained his act in 2017, as quoted by Denník N.

Nobody at home knew, apart from a friend of his, that he had watched jihadists’ videos, either before or after his conversion to Islam.

Court

The trial with the Slovak Islamist lasted nearly one year. Although Kobulnický was sentenced for promoting terrorism, he was not convicted of plotting a terrorist attack, as reported by Denník N.

He reiterated in court that he had fireworks at home because he was going to New Year's Eve in Slovakia, and he was not going to carry out an attack. He also said he had never wanted to support any terrorist organisation.

“I do not want to feel sorry for myself, but prison is out of the question,” he said to the court on November 15. “The offence of preparing an attack did not happen.”

Despite this, the court sentenced him to almost seven years in jail and expelled him from the Czech Republic, Denník N wrote.

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