Ex-Taliban fighter jailed in UK for jihad recruitment

9th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

A British ex-Taliban fighter who sought to recruit Muslims to travel to Afghanistan and target international forces was jailed for life on Friday by a court in England.

Pakistani-born, British citizen Munir Farooqi, 54, radicalised young men in Manchester, northwest England, using an Islamic bookstall as cover, and tried to persuade them to go and fight in war-torn Afghanistan.

But anti-terrorism police caught Farooqi and two others after infiltrating their group in an undercover operation, prosecutors told Manchester Crown Court.

Farooqi told the undercover officers that he had fought with the Taliban and said they could become martyrs fighting in the Afghan jihad, or holy war, the court heard.

After a four-month trial, he was convicted of preparing for acts of terrorism, three counts of soliciting to murder and one count of dissemination of terrorist publications.

Judge Richard Henriques on Friday handed him four life sentences and said he must serve a minimum nine years before he can be considered for parole.

"You are in my judgement a very dangerous man, an extremist, a fundamentalist with a determination to fight abroad," the judge told him.

He used his experiences fighting with the Taliban in 2001 as a "tool of recruitment" with the purpose of enlisting fighters for Afghanistan who were willing to "fight, kill and die" abroad, the judge said.

"Their victims would be allied forces, including British soldiers," Henriques added.

© 2011 AFP

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