Birmingham-Based Imam Can Be Extradited to Face Islamic State Charges

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A Birmingham-based imam accused of making recruitment videos for the Islamic State terror group can be extradited, a court has ruled.

Spanish authorities believe Tarik Chadlioui, 43, made the propaganda films encouraging people to fight in Syria during visits there in 2014 and 2015.

The Moroccan-born Belgian national is charged with collaborating with or membership of an armed group, which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years if he is convicted.

According to the BBC, lawyers for Mr. Chadlioui argued that his extradition would breach his human right to a family life as he has eight children in Birmingham, UK.

They said he is the sole breadwinner for the family, who came from Belgium in 2015 to the Sparkhill area – a popular designation for Islamists fleeing European crackdowns on Islamic face veils.

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot rejected the claim, saying Mr. Chadlioui’s family were eligible for benefits and could seek help from his mosque.

“At worst, and I accept it might be a hardship, the oldest two children could go out and get jobs – they are 17 and 18 after all,” she said.

Mr. Chadlioui was one of six people arrested across Europe in June, and Spanish authorities allege he made three pro-jihadi videos for extremist forces in Syria during two visits to Mallorca three years ago.

He is alleged to be the spiritual leader of the jihadist network that inspired Omar Mostefai, one of the Bataclan bombers who killed 86 people in Paris in November 2015.

He has also previously been linked with Anjem Choudary, the infamous convicted British hate preacher.

At an earlier hearing, the preacher protested his innocence and insisted he was an anti-terror activist.

“He has uploaded thousands of videos to YouTube,” barrister Malcolm Hawkes told the court. “This is what he does, he is an anti-terrorist preacher.” Mr. Chadlioui has more than 17,000 subscribers on the video sharing platform.