UK judge hands ex-Taliban fighter life sentence

AP News
Posted: Sep 09, 2011 10:13 AM
UK judge hands ex-Taliban fighter life sentence

A British judge on Friday sentenced a former Taliban fighter to life in prison for trying to recruit holy warriors for jihad in Afghanistan.

Among those Pakistani-born Munir Farooqi tried to recruit were two undercover police officers, who recorded him bragging about how he had fought with the Taliban. He told them they could become "martyrs" for the jihad cause.

Farooqi, 54, was arrested in a counterterrorism operation on Nov. 16, 2009 along with his 27-year-old son, Harris, and two other men _ Matthew Newton and Israr Malik.

Prosecutors have said Farooqi manned an Islamic bookstall in Manchester in the hopes of recruiting people to attend terrorist training camps and fight overseas.

He was convicted on terrorism charges, including soliciting to murder, distributing terrorist publications and engaging in conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism, and given four life sentences at northern England's Manchester Crown Court on Friday.

Farooqi was told he must serve a minimum of nine years before he becomes eligible for parole.

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

Farooqi's son was acquitted on one terror charge, while Newton was jailed for six years and Malik given an "Indeterminate Sentence for Public Protection," and told he must serve a minimum of five years before parole is considered.