The following article concerns a Slovak in Czechia who converted to Islam and was planning a terrorist attack. For whatever reason — whether PC or legal/technical — he was not convicted of a terrorism offense, but of the lesser charge of public endangerment.
The Slovak got six and a half years for public endangerment; it was not preparation of terror
November 15, 2019
Dominik Kobulnicky was sentenced to six and a half years in jail in his trial for public endangerment. The prosecution had originally accused him of preparing a terrorist attack and disseminating propaganda for the Islamic State and the Kavkaz emirate. In his apartment the police found chemicals for making explosives and instruction videos, he had shared the content on Facebook, which, according to prosecution, was spreading terrorism.
“The accused was exceptionally and extensively interested in radical Islam, by which he was dominated; it was clear that he was fascinated by its warriors. He had searched out even the most brutal videos, and had done so repeatedly. About this, there is no doubt,” opined Judge Silvie Slepickova on the verdict of the Prague municipal court. In this, the judge was in agreement with the opinion of the state prosecutor and also in agreement with the psychologist and psychiatrist regarding the personality [mental state] of the accused. “The accused mimicked, in his fascination, acquired clothing, which he had seen in the above-mentioned videos. Thus attired, he had photographed and videoed himself,” shared the senate president.
His enthusiasm for this clothing was, according to her, distasteful even to the believers in the mosque where he had worshiped. That is why the court had found him guilty of support and propagation of extremism. Regarding the hoarding of pyrotechnics in the apartment building in Stodulky [district in Prague], the judges put in the record that the Slovak might have been storing them for making New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Klobunicky downloaded instructions for the manufacture of explosive loads [IEDs], but they could also have been used for the manufacture of fireworks. By handling a large amount of pyrotechnics in his apartment, he had endangered 70 residents of the apartment building through a heightened risk of explosion and fire and toxic fumes. That is why there was the verdict of public endangerment.
“His behaviour could have raised the suspicion that he was heading towards planning a terrorist attack. In the senate as a whole, we have arrived at the conclusion that this suspicion is high, but insufficient to prove guilt in the way the prosecution has presented. It is not possible to conclude, with absolute certainty, that the accused was planning a terrorist attack using a home-made explosive,” stated the jurist Silvie Slepickova. The Senate considers the punishment to be appropriate.
Infatuated by Islamism
For the youth, who was fascinated by Islam and Islamists, the state prosecutor proposed a nine-year term for preparing an act of terror. “It is clear that for him, it was like a drug,” the prosecutor Matin Bily described Kolubnicky’s relationship to militant teaching.
In contrast, the defense lawyer demanded that all charges be dropped against her client. “The prosecution has failed to prove even the intent of my client to damage the governance of the Czech Republic,” stated the defense lawyer Lucia Svecova.
The Slovak denied preparing for a terrorist act throughout the investigation and judicial proceeding. “I never intended to do anything bad, and I have not done anything illegal. Evidence disproves the nonsense I am blamed for. I want to be a peace-loving Muslim,” asserted Klobunicky.
Pyrotechnics in the apartment building
The police arrested Klobunicky two years ago. In his apartment in Stodulky they found six kilograms of entertainment pyrotechnics and [other] chemicals. The expertise of firefighters brought drew attention to the fact that these substances, in case of contact with flame, an electric spark, mixing/crushing with chemicals or contact with a hot surface could cause a fire with serious consequences.
“From the internet, he had downloaded instruction videos for the production of armed explosive systems using entertainment-aimed pyrotechnics, such as pipe bombs, bombs placed in pressure-cookers, explosives in belts placed on the bodies of suicide bombers,” the discovery was commented on by Martin Bily.
Of course, the Slovak claimed that the aforementioned elements were only for use in New Year’s fireworks in his home village in eastern Slovakia. During the search of his computer and telephone, criminality experts found, among other things, photographs where he greets others with Islamic gestures.
Videos were also found with ties to the Islamic State and other organizations. The accused defended himself, stating that these snapshots were simply from curiosity. “I had bad thoughts,” admitted the accused regarding the online activity of the past few years. At that time, he had considered a bombing attack on the bus station in Presov.