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Police sting jihad pair convicted

A former Taliban fighter and a British Muslim convert who tried to recruit undercover police officers to fight a "jihad" against British soldiers in Afghanistan are facing jail.

Pakistani-born British citizen Munir Farooqi, 54, was at the centre of a plot to radicalise and persuade the officers to "fight, kill and die" in a holy war in Afghanistan.

Farooqi, of Victoria Terrace, Longsight, Manchester, was convicted of preparing for acts of terrorism, three counts of soliciting to murder and one count of dissemination of terrorist publications, following a four-month trial at Manchester Crown Court.

British Muslim convert Matthew Newton, 29, of Rydal Walk, Stalybridge, Tameside, was convicted of preparing for acts of terrorism and two counts of dissemination of terrorist publications.

Farooqi's son, Harris Farooqi, 28, of Stockport Road, Levenshulme, Manchester, was cleared of one count of engaging in conduct for the preparation of terrorism and discharged from the court a free man.

Munir Farooqi had travelled from his home in Longsight to Afghanistan to join the Taliban shortly after the 9/11 attacks, the court heard. While there he was an "active terrorist".

After returning to the UK in 2002 he tried to "brainwash" two undercover policemen with extreme propaganda to persuade them to go to Afghanistan to carry on the "jihad".

The plan began at Islamic bookstalls in Manchester, taking in visits to mosques in the city. The ultimate aim was delivering recruits to "training camps and battlefields" abroad, the jury heard.

The jury has yet to reach verdicts concerning a fourth defendant, Israr Malik, 23, of Bowden Avenue, Fallowfield, Manchester, who is accused of preparing for acts of terrorism and two counts of soliciting to murder.

All four defendants had pleaded not guilty to all 10 offences allegedly committed between October 2008 and November 2009. The jury will return to court on Friday morning to resume deliberations on the remaining counts concerning Malik. Munir Farooqi and Newton were remanded in custody for sentencing after the conclusion of the trial.


From Belfast Telegraph