Elderly Czech man jailed for terrorist attacks and pretending it was Muslims

Jaromir Balda, 71.

An elderly Czech man who chopped down trees to block railway lines and then pretended it was Muslims has been jailed for four years for terrorism.

Jaromir Balda, 71, left written notes at the crime scene saying “Allahu Akbar”, meaning “God is great” in Arabic.

Two trains hit the trees but nobody was seriously injured.

In addition to his conviction, the court ordered psychiatric help for the far-right sympathiser.

He said he hoped to spread fear, suspicion and hatred of Muslims.

Blada told the regional court in Prague: “I did not want to commit terror, I wanted to resist it.”

The perpetrator also said he was “confused” due to the blood pressure medication he was taking.

The pensioner left the trees on the rail tracks near the city of Mlada Boleslav, about 30 miles north of Prague in 2017.

Nine passengers were on the first train, while the second had six passengers and three members of staff, both hitting the tree at 80kph (50 mph).

A railway expert said it was very lucky that the trains did not derail.

News website Novinky.cz reported that the messages he left at the crime scene indicated future attacks in the Czech Republic and called for violence against “Czech unbelieving dogs”.

Local media outlets highlighted the irony of a Czech pensioner who appears to have been radicalised by far-right propaganda to be one of the first in the country to be convicted of terrorist offences.

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