The family of a jailed terrorist recruiter face losing their home as police, for the first time, plan to seize a property involved in terrorism.
Former Taliban fighter Munir Farooqi was handed four life sentences in 2011 for trying to radicalise young British men and send them to kill troops in Afghanistan.
He lost an appeal against his conviction on Monday paving the way for police to seize his £200,000 home, which he used as his “recruitment centre”.
Greater Manchester Police intend to recover the asset under a power that allows homes and other properties to be seized if they were part of a terrorism offence.
It will be the first time the power has been used since it came in to force in 2009.
A senior police officer insisted the move was not aimed at punishing Farooqi’s family members and they would not be made homeless because they have two other properties.
Farooqi, a Pakistani-born British citizen, was at the centre of a plot to radicalise and persuade vulnerable young men to “fight, kill and die” in a jihad in Afghanistan.
He had previously been inspired to head to Afghanistan by the allied invasion which followed the 9/11 terror attacks. He joined the Taliban as an “active terrorist” but was captured and jailed in November 2001.
But by May 2002 he was released by the authorities in Pakistan and headed back to Manchester where he turned the family four-bedroom home into a “production centre” for propaganda, with a collection of 50,000 extremist books, DVDs and CDs.
The father-of-three was captured in a police sting when two undercover anti-terrorism police officers infiltrated his group wearing secret bugging devices.
He was handed four life sentences in 2011 and told he must serve a minimum of nine years after being 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.
His appeal against conviction was dismissed today by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, Lord Justice Treacy and Mrs Justice Sharp.
Farooqi, who is in his fifties, ran an Islamic book stall on Longsight market in Manchester to spread the word of Islam, with the help of co-defendants Matthew Newton and Israr Malik.
The appeal judges also rejected conviction challenges by Newton and Malik.
Lord Judge, giving his last Court of Appeal ruling before he retires as Lord Chief Justice, said the trial judge concluded he was a “very dangerous extremist who believed that murder of allied troops was an obligation, which he wholeheartedly incited”.
Police will now look to seize the family home in Victoria Terrace, Longsight, Manchester.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood said: “This is unequivocally not about punishing family members, but demonstrating that if a convicted terrorist who was planning to recruit people to kill our soldiers aboard used a property to carry out this sort of criminality that it should be seized and any monies raised use to fund the ongoing fight against terrorism.
“Again I want to be clear this decision is not about Munir Farooqi’s family. This family own, outright, two other properties and will not be made homeless.”
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