A 25-year-old mechanic from Spálené Poříčí, about 100km southwest of Prague, who tried to travel to Syria in January, was charged on Tuesday with attempted terrorism.

The man — identified as Jan S. — had been arrested at an international airport in Turkey after the authorities there found him carrying a plane ticket to a Turkish town near the Syrian border. He spoke neither Arabic nor English.

When he was apprehended, the man told Turkish authorities that he planned to join ISIS in Syria, although his further plans were unclear. Turkish officials subsequently returned the man to the Czech Republic.

The man faces between three and 12 years in prison if he is charged and convicted.

“We don’t know whether he had psychological issues rather than having been radicalized. But as we have seen in Germany and France, people like this can carry out terrorist attacks and are no less dangerous”, said Marian Brzybohaty, a terrorism expert from the Czech Police Academy.

Roughly 160 people from Iraq and Syria applied for asylum from January to June.


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