The family home of a man convicted of attempting to recruit two undercover police officers to fight British soldiers in Afghanistan is set to become the first to be seized in the UK under terrorism laws. Forfeiture will now begin after the Court of Appeal rejected a challenge against his conviction by bookstall owner Munir Farooqi who received four life sentences in September 2011 for inciting jihad.
The decision means the Farooqis’ house in Longsight, Manchester, will be the first to be subject to seizure proceedings under the Terrorism Act of 2000 which entitles the courts to take property owned or under the control of terrorists at the time of an offence.
The family and their supporters have fought a vigorous campaign to highlight their case claiming three generations will be left homeless and penniless if the property, which is not registered in Munir Farooqi’s name, is forfeited.
They have argued that they are being collectively punished for a crime they did not commit. Farooqi’s son Harris, 29, who lives in the £200,000 house with six other family members, was acquitted of terrorism offences at the trial. His father ran an Islamic book stall on Longsight market.
Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police Steve Heywood said the majority of the offences had taken place at the Farooqi home – one of three properties owned outright by the family. Stating: “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 abroad used a property to carry out this sort of criminality that it should be seized and any monies raised use to fund the on-going fight against terrorism,”