Prominent German radical convicted of backing Islamic terror

Prominent German radical convicted of backing Islamic terror

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BERLIN (AP) — One of Germany's most prominent Islamic radicals was convicted Wednesday of supporting a foreign terrorist organization and sentenced to 5½ years in prison.

The state court in Duesseldorf ruled that Sven Lau, 36, supported the Army of Emigrants and Partisans, known as JAMWA. It said Lau acted as a contact for extremists wanting to fight for the group in Syria and, in 2013, helped two men from Germany join it there.

It said Lau traveled to Syria three times in 2013, handing over money to JAMWA, which the court described as being close to the Islamic State group. He also provided three night-vision devices to the organization.

The trial opened in September. The court heard 38 witnesses and two experts, and reviewed chats, text messages and recorded phone calls among other evidence.

Lau, a convert to Islam, made headlines in 2014 when he tried to establish a "Sharia police" in the German city of Wuppertal to enforce a strict interpretation of Islam.

In an unrelated case, authorities searched several properties in and around the northeastern town of Guestrow on Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors said that their investigation involves three people suspected of preparing an act of violence, news agency dpa reported. Several people were detained.

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