A court in the northern German city of Celle has convicted a radical Islamist preacher and three co-defendants for recruiting and radicalizing young people in Germany for the “Islamic State” terrorist group. He has been sentenced to 10 and a half years in prison. Prosecutors sought a sentence of 11.5 years for Abu Walaa, who is believed to be the “Islamic State” jihadist group’s de facto leader in Germany . The defense, however, demanded an acquittal, with Walaa himself declining to make a closing statement last week. What did the court say? The court pronounced Walaa guilty of supporting and being a member of the terrorist organization. The judges said the Islamist preacher and his network radicalized young people — mainly in the country’s Ruhr region and the state of Lower Saxony — and sent them to the IS combat zones. Three co-defendants received prison sentences of between four and eight years. Who is Abu Walaa? Walaa, 37, was born in Iraq and came to Germany in 2001 as an asylum-seeker. He became a preacher at a mosque in the city of Hildesheim in Lower Saxony, which became notorious for attracting Islamists from across Germany. The mosque was forced to close due in 2017 when… Read full this story
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