Thursday, 8 September 2011
A former Taleban fighter and a British Muslim convert have been found guilty of a plot to recruit vulnerable young men to fight a holy war against British soldiers in Afghanistan.

Munir Farooqi, 54, born in Pakistan, was the leader of the group which ran faith stalls around Manchester to identify suitable targets, and begin the taks of converting them to the Muslim faith and radicalising them.

Their ultimate aim was to send young men to Afghanistan where they would “fight, kill and die” in a holy war to rid the Muslim lands of the hated ‘kuffars’ or non-believers.

Farooqi, who lived in Longsight, Manchester, was convicted after a four month trial at Manchester Crown Court of preparing for acts of terrorism, soliciting to murder and disseminating terrorist publications.

Matthew Newton, 29, a British-born Muslim convert, of Levenshulme, Manchester, was convicted of preparing for acts of terrorism and two counts of dissemination of terrorist publications.

Harris Farooqi, 28, also, Levenshulme, Manchester, was cleared of engaging in conduct for the preparation of terrorism and discharged from the court a free man.

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

The court was told that two undercover police officers posing as impressionable young men infiltrated the secret cell. They allowed themselves to be befriended at the faith stall in Manchester, drawn into the group and apparently radicalised the help of extremist literature and meetings with influential clerics.

Over the course of a year the officers, identified only as Ray and Simon, secretly recorded their journey from supposedly ‘vulnerable’ young men to Islamist radicals. Their ultimate destination was martyrdom as they rid the Muslim lands of the hated ‘kuffars’ or non-believers.

When officers finally arrested Farooqi, 54, on November 16, 2009, they recovered a wealth of extremist material including DVDs, memory sticks, computer files and printed literature. They included eleven ‘terrorist’ publications, the court heard.

The jury heard extracts of tapes recorded by the controversial cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in which he told Muslims that it was their duty to fight and die for Allah, and that terrorism was just the westeners’ word for jihad ro holy war.

Farooqi had travelled from his home in Longsight to Afghanistan to join the Taleban shortly after the 9/11 attacks, the court heard. He had been an “active terrorist”.
Andrew Edis, for the prosecution, said: “The prosecution allege that this was an organised attempt taking place in Manchester to raise men for the jihad to recruit fighters.

“This means finding people who are capable of being persuaded or persuading them that their religious duty requires them to fight, to kill and to die, if necessary.
“It means persuading them to travel from the UK to training camps and battlefields abroad, principally in Afghanistan”.

Mr Edis made it clear that there was no question that the undercover officers were being groomed as suicide bombers to operate in the UK, only for jihadist operations abroad. But he said that, in law, that is terrorism.

All four defendants had pleaded not guilty to the offences allegedly committed between October 2008 and November 2009.

The jury will return to court today (fri) to resume deliberations on the remaining counts concerning Malik. Farooqi and Newton were remanded in custody for sentencing after the conclusion of the trial.
Source: The Times (£)


Mullah Lodabullah said...

It's got allah's evil fingerprints all over it.

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