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German court sentences 'IS recruiter' to 10.5 years in prison

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By Euronews with AFP
A man who calls himfelf Abu Walaa, alleged leader of the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) in Germany, hides his face at the Higher Regional Court in Celle, Germany.
A man who calls himfelf Abu Walaa, alleged leader of the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) in Germany, hides his face at the Higher Regional Court in Celle, Germany.   -   Copyright  Julian Stratenschulte/DPA via AP, Pool
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A German court in Celle sentenced a former imam to 10.5 years in prison on Wednesday for being a member of the Islamic State terrorist organisation and recruiting for them.

Ahmad Abdulaziz Abdullah Abdullah, known as "Abu Walaa", was sentenced for having radicalised young people in Germany and was accused of being the IS terror group's "representative in Germany".

The 37-year-old Iraqi citizen was convicted of membership in a terrorist organisation, financing of terrorism and assisting in the preparation of violent action, putting an end to a trial that started in 2017.

Three co-defendants were also charged for complicity and received sentences between four and eight years in prison.

Abu Walaa had set up in his mosque in Hildesheim, Lower Saxony, and is accused of having preached jihad in the now closed mosque.

According to the prosecution, at least eight people, who were "mostly young", subsequently left, including twin brothers who carried out a suicide bombing in Iraq in 2015.

Among those who frequented the group are at least one of three teenagers who, aged 16, planted a bomb in a Sikh temple in Germany, injuring three men, one seriously, in 2016.

Abu Walaa arrived in Germany as an asylum seeker in 2001 and was arrested in November 2016 after a long investigation.