A young woman in Switzerland was convicted of terrorism after stabbing two people in Lugano in 2020.
The 29-year-old — who was known to police and suffers from mental health problems — was found guilty of committing a “terrorist act” and “repeated attempted murder.”
She was sentenced to nine years in prison and will also have to undergo treatment.
Prosecutors say the woman “deliberately” tried to cut her throat two women in a department store in town.
During the attack, she was accused of shouting “Allahu Akbar” and proclaiming her support for the so-called Islamic State (IS) group.
One of the two victims was seriously injured in the neck. Another woman was wounded in the arm, but she and other people managed to subdue the attacker until the police arrived.
The Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona said she had “no respect for human life” and that she “acted in cold blood, planned the act, decided on the weapon to be used, where to buy it”.
Defense lawyers argued that she was “in no condition” to know her motive for the knife attack.
“She brutally attacked her randomly selected victims with a knife with the aim of killing them and spreading terror among the population on behalf of IS,” federal prosecutors said.
One of her two victims filed a civil lawsuit seeking 440,000 Swiss francs (450,000 euros).
She was also accused of criminal acts of prostitution between 2017 and 2020.
According to prosecutors, the young woman had a Swiss father and a Serbian mother. She reportedly converted to Islam after marrying an Afghan national from whom she finally divorced last year.
Police say she “fell in love” online with a jihadist fighter in Syria and tried to join him in 2017 before being arrested at the Turkey-Syria border.
She was then returned to Switzerland and placed in a psychiatric institution. Experts say that the woman suffered from a form of schizophrenia and was at risk of repeating the crime.
The November 2020 attack came just weeks after a Turkish-Swiss citizen stabbed a bystander in the Swiss town of Morges in another suspected terrorist incident.
Federal police say terrorism remains “high” in Switzerland after two separate attacks.