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Germany convicts Iraqi for al-Qaeda recruitment material distribution

[JURIST] A German court convicted an Iraqi man for disseminating terrorist materials online in an attempt to recruit members for al-Qaeda [JURIST news archive] on Thursday. The man, Ibrahim Rashid, an Iraqi political refugee of Kurdish descent, was convicted on 22 counts of recruiting for a non-German terrorist organization. He was arrested in 2006 and detained until his trial in the German city of Celle. Rashid is the first person to be convicted under a German law passed after the Sept. 11 attacks [JURIST news archive] that bans recruitment for terrorist groups. Rashid's defense lawyer had urged the court to acquit his client, arguing that convicting him could lead to unintended political abuse of the law. AFP has more. Deutsche-Welle has local coverage.

Thursday's conviction comes amid controversy over German anti-terrorism laws dealing with technology and the Internet. In February, the Federal Constitutional Court overturned [JURIST report] a 2006 state law that authorized intelligence agents to search personal computers, networks and Internet communications of terrorism suspects. In September 2007, German Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries proposed [JURIST report] new laws criminalizing the preparation of acts of terrorism, including the posting of bomb-making instructions on the Internet.

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