Iraqi brothers (finally) formally accused of terrorism

Iraqi brothers (finally) formally accused of terrorism

Brothers have been in preventive custody since last year

The two Iraqi brothers whose arrests in Lisbon caused press furore last year have finally been formally accused of terrorism.

Yasir and Ammar Ameen, aged 33 and 35, have been in preventive custody for almost a year.

The reason for the ‘furore’ following their arrests was that Yasir worked in a restaurant visited by all manner of high-ranking political figures.

Selfies had been taken with President Marcelo, for example – albeit the head of State said he regularly allowed people to take selfies with him, without knowing anything about them.

The issue with this particular arrest is that the brothers had apparently been under secret service ‘vigilance’ in Portugal for three years.

Thus why the president’s security detail wasn’t informed their boss was potentially at some risk is a mystery.

Today, Expresso repeats the details we were all given last year: “the suspects have been in Portugal since 2017, having arrived in this country infiltrated within a group of refugees from Greece.

“The suspect brothers used to live in Mossul, the bastion of Daesh in Iraq, and were militants of this radical Islamic group. According to the Public Ministry, they will have committed all kinds of crimes, including torture against the civil population, having practiced facts violating humanitarian rights and genocide” during the Daesh occuption of Mossul between 2014 and 2017.

It was in 2017 that the young men were ‘denounced’ to authorities by “some victims that identified them over social media.

“The complaints were received shortly after they arrived in Portugal under an EU resettlement programme”, says Expresso.

According to public prosecutors, the brothers’ presence in Portugal represented “a serious risk to public security, peace and tranquility due to the possibility of them committing terrorist acts in Portugal”.

Nonetheless, “no indications were identified that they had committed or were preparing any crimes of this nature in our country”, the paper continues – neglecting to mention (possibly because it was spurious) the suggestion last year that they might have been involved in planning a terrorist attack to take place in Germany. 

“Yasir worked in a Lisbon restaurant that was visited by high figures of the Portuguese State while he was being investigated for terrorism”, Expresso adds, referring to his “taking selfies with President of the Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the prime minister António Costa and then then mayor of Lisbon Fernando Medina“.

In September last year, the two young men were indicted for the practice of crimes against humanity, for adhesion and support of an international terrorist organisation, and for international terrorism.

Iraq has already issued a mandate for the capture of both men, but as it is a country that still carries the death penalty “it is not certain that Portugal will extradite them”.

The pair are being defended by lawyers Vítor Carreto and Manuel Henriques, Expresso concludes.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com