Saturday 24 February 2018

Ex-Taliban jihad recruiter given four life sentences

Pat Hurst in Manchester

A former Taliban fighter who ran a "recruitment centre" for home-grown extremists to go to Afghanistan to kill British troops was given four life sentences yesterday.

Munir Farooqi (54), pictured right, was at the centre of a plot to radicalise and persuade vulnerable young men to "fight, kill and die" in a jihad in Afghanistan, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Pakistani-born British citizen Farooqi, of Victoria Terrace, Longsight, Manchester in England, was captured in a sting when two undercover anti-terrorism officers infiltrated his group wearing bugging devices.

Farooqi bragged to the officers how he had fought with the Taliban and told them they could become "martyrs" too.

He also found "amusement" in the sight of the flag-draped coffins of fallen allied troops returning from Afghanistan.

He must serve a minimum of nine years before he can be considered for parole after being convicted of preparing for acts of terrorism, three counts of soliciting to murder and one count of dissemination of terrorist publications.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Richard Henriques said: "You are in my judgment a very dangerous man, an extremist, a fundamentalist with a determination to fight abroad."

Farooqi had used his experiences fighting with the Taliban as a "tool of recruitment" to run the "Manchester recruitment centre" from Islamic book stalls in the city. His operation was "sophisticated, ruthless and well honed", the judge said.

Irish Independent

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