Mullah Krekar Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison
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Mullah Krekar Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison

ERBIL — Kurdish controversial Islamist preacher Mullah Krekar was sentenced to 12 years in prison by an Italian court, media reports said.

A Bolzano appeals court on Friday upheld all the convictions in a trial into a jihadi cell in Italy featuring an Islamist leader recently extradited to Italy from Norway, ANSA reported.

Krekar, whose real name is Najmaddin Faraj Ahmad, was found to have been the 'spiritual leader' of the Rawti Shax jihadi cell, which was dismantled by the Italian security police in the autumn of 2015.

Krekar is considered a terrorist by the UN and US.

The 63-year-old Iraqi Kurdish preacher went to Norway as a refugee in 1991. However, after many years, Krekar is not holding a Norwegian citizenship, unlike his wife and four children.

He was the founder of the defunct Islamic group Ansar al-Islam, although has since distanced himself from the group.