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Posted by portugalpress on October 09, 2018

Portuguese authorities have reacted with “surprise” to news that a national condemned to four years jail for his links to a group that recruited women and children for DAESH has been freed by Spanish authorities.

Fábio Almeida, originally from the island of Terceira in the Azores but raised in France, is now on five years ‘conditional’ bail.

He must not put himself forward for any kind of public service, nor is he allowed to exercise the profession of a teacher for 1o years, writes Sábado, adding “but he is free to travel wherever he likes”.

This decision, taken by three Spanish judges in Madrid, was not communicated to authorities in Portugal who were under the impression that Almeida’s four year jail sentence - conferred last month - would see him remain behind bars for at least another year (he had been on remand in preventive custody for since 2015).

Almeida had pleaded innocent to the charges of ‘passive terrorist doctrination’ and of integration within a terrorist organisation.

He was charged with three Moroccans - one of which is his wife Sanae Boughroum - with recruiting youngsters aged from the age of 12-16 to the Jihad through various WhatsApp groups.

Said Expresso last month, around 100 older women belonged to the groups, some of which will have travelled to Syria to join DAESH.

The panel of judges hearing the case “considered the majority of suspicions” levelled against Almeida and the Moroccans to be proved, writes Sábado.

The Moroccans received sentences of seven years - and are believed to have remained in jail - while Almeida received the lighter sentence that led to his ‘surprise’ release.

Almeida’s whereabouts are now unclear. Sábado suggests he could be living in a property owned by his wife’s parents.

Earlier this summer, the paper revealed that when police raided Almeida’s Spanish apartment, they discovered “thousands of files related to IS, including 65,341 images and 96 videos of decapitations” (click here).

At the time, Sábado suggested all four defendants could expect up to a decade in jail.