Manchester jihadists who recruited police jailed

Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden

Jihadists from Manchester who wanted to kill Jews, used anti-Israel films to recruit terrorists and organised support for a Gaza aid convoy have been jailed.

Munir Farooqi, Israr Malik and Matthew Newton, who received sentences of between six years and life imprisonment at Manchester Crown Court last Friday, were snared when they unwittingly recruited policemen for terrorism in Afghanistan.

The three were exposed after undercover officers infiltrated their radicalisation den in Longsight. A basement containing 50,000 extremist DVDs and CDs about Israel and Jihad was used to groom vulnerable men for terror training camps.

During a four-month trial, the court was told how Matthew Newton, 29 and a recent convert to Islam, had a "fixation with Jews".

During the year-long sting operation in 2009, which involved two police officers being converted to Islam and radicalised, Newton was recorded repeatedly asking an imam "can we kill Jewish people?" and calling Jews pigs in antisemitic tirades during Koran lessons at a south Manchester mosque.

Newton, also known as "Hamza", was disseminating lectures by Anwar al-Awlaki, a senior al-Qaeda member. He ran radicalisation stalls at two Manchester markets for the group's ring leader Munir Farooqi.

Mr Farooqi, 54, who idolised Osama Bin Laden and had previously fought for the Taliban in 2001, was sentenced to life imprisonment for conduct in preparation for acts of terrorism and three counts of soliciting to murder.

He believed that Jews were "the Shaitan" (devil), "caused the problems in Gaza" and would eventually be killed by Jesus. In 2009 he was part of a Gaza aid convoy from Manchester.

Farooqi also radicalised Israr Malik, 23, who was given an indeterminable sentence with a minimum of five years for his part in recruiting the two police officers for Jihad in Afghanistan. Mr Farooqi's son, Harris, was cleared of a single count of terrorist activity.

He had told police that he supported Hamas following a pro-Palestinian rally in Manchester organised by the Stop the War Coalition.

Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Porter, head of the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, paid tribute to the bravery of his undercover officers to prove that "these men were involved in an organised attempt in Manchester to recruit men to fight, kill and die."

Last updated: 5:15pm, September 13 2011