One of Germany's most notorious Islamist preachers, Sven Lau, was sentenced Wednesday to five and a half years in jail for backing a terrorist group.

The German Salafist convert, who had previously sparked outrage by forming a "sharia police" vigilante group, was convicted for helping to recruit for Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (JMA) or Army of Emigrants and Supporters.

JMA, which includes Chechens, Uzbeks and Tajiks, first emerged in Syria in 2012, is deemed a terrorist organisation by Germany.

In September 2015, the militants pledged allegiance to the Al-Nusra Front, a rival group of the Islamic State organisation.

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