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German ‘IS leader’ handed lengthy prison sentence

A notorious Iraqi preacher said to be the Islamic State jihadist group’s de facto leader in Germany is sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison by a German court.

The 37-year-old Ahmad Abdulaziz Abdullah Abdullah, better known as Abu Walaa, was accused of directing a jihadist network that radicalized young people in Europe and helped them travel to Iraq and Syria.

Iraqi defendant Abu Walaa, described as the Islamic State group’s de facto leader in Germany, hides his face as he arrives at court for the verdict of his trial on February 24, 2021 in Celle, central Germany (Julian Stratenschulte / POOL / AFP)

He was found guilty of belonging to a foreign terrorist organization, helping to plan subversive violent acts and financing terrorism.

The verdict marks the end of a “special case” that was “very long and very complex,” judge Frank Rosenow says as he hands down the verdict after 245 days of hearings.

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