Three Austrian teenagers were given custodial terms on Thursday for trying to join the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists in Syria, AFP reported.
The trio, one aged 16 and two aged 15, who were not named, pleaded guilty to participation in a terrorist organization at a trial conducted behind closed doors in Vienna.
Bulgarian authorities arrested the 16-year-old in May on his way to Syria to join ISIS, sending him back to Austria where he was put in custody but then released.
He then attempted to convince 10- and 11-year-olds to join the jihadist organization, reported AFP. He was given a 10-month sentence plus a further 20 months suspended.
The other two had concrete plans to go to Syria but were prevented from leaving in June, prosecutors said. One of them attacked his father with a screwdriver after he refused to give his son his passport.
He was also given a 10-month term and 20 months suspended and the other 15-year-old was sentenced to seven months with 14 months suspended.
All three, who were of Chechen and Turkish origin, were Muslims who were radicalized in just a few months, the court heard.
Like other European countries, Austria has seen a wave of people – 260, according to the government, many of them minors and some young women – leave the country to join ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
Some have since returned and around 40 of them are in custody and more than 80 are under close surveillance, according to the interior ministry.
In July a Muslim preacher known as Ebu Tejma at the center of an Austrian jihad propaganda network was sentenced to 20 years in jail for "brainwashing" dozens of young people as young as 14.
Facing the challenges of Austrians travelling to the Middle East to join jihadist groups, Austria's parliament in February of 2015 passed a law banning foreign sources of financing to Muslim organizations and requiring imams to be able to speak German.
In June of that year, an Austrian court convicted nine people of Chechen origin who were arrested on their way to join ISIS terrorists together with their Turkish driver.
The nine, aged 18 to 28, were found guilty of belonging to a terrorist organization and given jail terms of between 19 months and three years, except for one who got a suspended sentence.
In December, two young Syrian brothers were arrested in a refugee camp in southern Austria on suspicion of belonging to terrorist groups.