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Jihad in Australia: Five Islamic terrorists get 23 to 28 years jail term

Posted by jagoindia on February 15, 2010

Hefty jail terms for terrorism plotters
By Shane McLeod for PM

Five Sydney men jailed over terrorism plot Australia’s longest-running criminal trial ended in a specially-built courthouse in Sydney’s West on Monday, with five men sentenced to jail terms of up to 28 years.

In a televised hearing, Supreme Court judge Antony Whealy said their fundamentalist Islamic beliefs drove them to plot a terrorist attack on a large scale.

The actual target of their planning was never revealed in court.

Legal experts say the case shows anti-terrorism laws can lead to successful prosecutions, but they worry the long-term consequences of the tough laws could harm counter-terrorism efforts.

It took Justice Anthony Whealy more than three hours to read out his judgement in the case of the five men, who were found guilty by a jury last year of plotting a large scale terrorist attack.

Four of their co-conspirators had already pleaded guilty to being part of a plot.

Justice Whealy described the motivation for what he called a criminal enterprise.

“Each was driven by the concept that the world was, in essence, divided between those who adhered strictly and fundamentally to a rigid concept of the Muslim faith – indeed a medieval view of it – and those who did not,” he said.

“Secondly, each was driven by the conviction that Islam throughout the world was under attack, particularly at the hands of the United States and its allies – in this context Australia was plainly included.

“Thirdly, each offender was convinced that his obligation as a devout Muslim was to come to the defence of Islam and other Muslims overseas.

“Fourthly, it was the duty of each individual offender, indeed a religious obligation, to respond to the worldwide situation by preparing for violent Jihad in this country, here in Australia.”

Justice Whealy detailed the preparations the men had made for the terrorist act, gathering chemicals that could be used for bomb making, firearms, and Jihadist propaganda.

He referred to one video in particular that was viewed during the the trial where a masked Mudjahedeen spoke in English “with a very obvious Australian accent”, proclaiming, “you kill us, so you will be killed; you bomb us, so you will be bombed.”

“This is an overly simplistic, but reasonably accurate summation of the mindset of each of the offenders in this trial,” Justice Whealy added.

“It is the mindset, in my view, that prompted the entry of each man into the conspiracy, and no doubt motivated his actions in relation to the furtherance of the enterprise.”

And while the intended target was never revealed and plotting had in fact been interrupted by the men’s arrests, Justice Whealy says it was clear.

“An intolerant and inflexible fundamentalist religious conviction was the principal motivation for the commission of the offence,” he said.

“This is the most startling and intransigent feature of the crime.

“It sets it apart from other criminal enterprises, motivated by financial gain, by passion, by anger or revenge.”

Justice Whealy sentenced the five men to terms in jail from 21 up to 28 years, with long non-parole terms.

Each of them will have their sentence reduced by the years they have already spent in jail.

Justice Whealy noted, in handing down his sentence, that the men seemed to view the prospect of prison as a “test of their faith”.

“These men, while they undoubtedly face the prospect of many years in prison with a degree of trepidation and concern, do appear to wear their imprisonment like some kind of badge of honour,” he said.

“This is because they see it as a test of their faith, and a burden willingly to be borne as a duty arising from their fundamentalist religious conviction.”

Family lashes out

Outside the Parramatta court, the sister of one of the men read a poem for her brother, who was sentenced to 23 years in jail.

“They handcuffed your spirit, they stole your freedom, they locked you up for a crime you didn’t commit. They locked you up because you fit the perp’s descript,” she said.

And she lashed out over the prosecution.

“Which family in this world wouldn’t be surprised? Which family? Twenty-three years, that’s half of his life,” she said.

“That is half of his life. This is not fair. This is not fair to our community nor to our religion.

“My brother is innocent. Yes I am saying that he is innocent.”

When asked if her brother was plotting mass murder, the woman accused ASIO officials of being “extremists”.

“No he was not planning no mass murder, he was not planning any terrorist attacks,” she said.

“No plots and he’s not an extremist. The only form of extremists are the people like ASIO. They go deep.

“They go way deep into this. The whole case was extreme.”

Federal Police commissioner Tony Negus was not commenting on the sentences, but paid tribute to the investigators who put the case together.

“Certainly the investigation by both the New South Wales police, ASIO and ourselves has prevented a significant act of terrorism occurring in this country,” he said.

“And look, the sentence is a matter for the courts and we really don’t want to pass judgement on that.

“Obviously they are significant sentences and I’d applaud that from the courts.”

‘Effective and counter-productive’

Terrorism law expert Nicola McGarrity, from the Gilbert and Tobin Centre for Public Law at the University of New South Wales, says the prosecution shows the anti-terror laws result in convictions.

“On the one hand, this terrorism trial indicates that the terrorism offences are effective in taking people off the streets who were going to engage in terrorist acts,” she said.

“But on the other hand, these terrorism offences have severe human rights implications and can actually be counter-productive in the sense that already alienated communities within Australia often regard these terrorism laws as targeting them rather than being applied neutrally across the community.”

Outside the court today the lawyer acting for one of the convicted men indicated he was considering an appeal.

Posted in Australia, Islamofascism, Terrorism | 7 Comments »

Four Muslim Australians arrested for plotting terrorist attack at army base

Posted by jagoindia on August 4, 2009

Australia Police Hold 4 in Terror Plot

Published: August 4, 2009
SYDNEY — Four men suspected of having links to a radical Islamic group from Somalia were arrested Tuesday for what authorities said was a plot to storm a military base in the Sydney suburbs and shoot as many soldiers as possible.

The men, all Australian citizens of Somali and Lebanese descent, were detained when hundreds of police officers swept through 19 houses in Melbourne early Tuesday. The raids were the culmination of a seven-month investigation involving state and federal officials and the Australian Security and Intelligence Organization, the government’s spy agency.

The police said the men, whose ages ranged from 22 to 26, planned to arm themselves with automatic weapons and stage an attack on Holsworthy Barracks, a sprawling military complex set in the scrub lands southwest of Sydney. No date was given for the alleged attack.

“This operation has disrupted an alleged terrorist attack that could have claimed many lives,” the acting federal police commissioner, Tony Negus, told reporters in Melbourne. He said the men “were prepared to inflict a sustained attack on military personnel until they themselves were killed.”

Officials say the suspects were affiliated with Al Shabab, an Islamic organization that controls much of southern Somalia and has been waging an insurgency against the country’s fragile, Western-backed transitional government. The United States considers the group a terrorist organization, saying it harbors Al Qaeda operatives wanted for orchestrating the 1998 bombings of the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Clive Williams, a terrorism expert at the Strategic and Defense Studies Center of the Australian National University, said that increased scrutiny of Al Shabab has made it harder for sympathetic Muslim youths to travel to Somalia unnoticed, making conditions ripe for Shabab-inspired attacks elsewhere.

“Now that it has become more difficult to go there, the alternative is to go somewhere else, or do something in your home country,” Mr. Williams said. “Given that Australia’s foreign policy is closely aligned with that of the United States in many areas, particularly in relation to Afghanistan, it would make sense to wage an attack in Australia to protest against Australia’s policies.”

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced on April 29 that Australia would add 450 soldiers to its contingent in Afghanistan, increasing its force there to about 1,550. Mr. Rudd said at the time that President Obama had persuaded him to increase the deployment during discussions the previous week.

Mr. Rudd said the arrests on Tuesday offered a sobering reminder of the “enduring threat from terrorism at home, here in Australia, as well as overseas.”

The police charged one of the men, Nayef El Sayed, 25, with conspiring to plan or prepare for a terrorist attack. Mr. Sayed did not enter a plea or apply for bail when he appeared briefly before the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday. He refused to stand up when the judge entered the chambers because, his lawyer told the court, his religious beliefs prevented him from standing before anyone but God, according to local reporters who attended the hearing.

The magistrate gave the police an eight-hour extension to continue questioning another man, Saney Aweys, into Tuesday night. He and two other suspects have not been charged. Mr. Aweys, who declined legal representation, told the court that he did not know the other three men.

But prosecutors said that the federal police had intercepted numerous telephone conversations and text messages referring to the planned attack. The authorities said they planned to use these telephone intercepts and video footage of one of the men allegedly arriving at the Holsworthy base on March 28, as evidence.

The police said at least one of the men had traveled to Somalia to participate in the insurgency there, and members of the group were trying to persuade Islamic leaders to issue a fatwa, or religious edict, supporting the planned attack.

If the accusations are true, the men join the ranks of Somali expatriates and Muslim youths who have been drawn to Al Shabab, which means “youth” in Arabic. Officials in the United States have also been investigating whether a group of young men from Minnesota were recruited by the group to join the influx of foreign militants fighting against Somalia’s transitional government.

Australia has not had a major attack on its territory in recent years. However, a number of people are serving lengthy prison sentences for plots that have been uncovered since the government imposed tough anti-terror laws in the wake of Sept. 11, 2001. Dozens of Australians have been killed in attacks overseas, including three people who were killed in simultaneous suicide bomb attacks at two American hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia, last month; 88 Australians were killed when Islamic extremists bombed a bar and a nightclub on the Indonesian island of Bali in October 2002.

Australian police arrest four accused of plotting terrorist attack
Police say the four Australian citizens had received training in Somalia and were planning to attack a military barracks in Sydney.

By Huma Yusuf
posted August 04, 2009

Australian police have arrested four people in Melbourne accused of plotting a suicide attack on an Army base. The men are believed to have ties to Al Shabab, an extremist Somali organization that has been linked to Al Qaeda.

The four Australian citizens, of Somali and Lebanese descent, were arrested in a massive predawn raid that involved more than 400 police officers searching 19 locations, reports The Guardian. It was the culmination of a seven-month investigation during which police say they discovered the men had received training in Somalia and were planning to attack a military barracks in Sydney and kill as many soldiers as possible before being killed themselves.

 One man, Nayef el-Sayed, has been charged with conspiring to commit a terrorist attack, reports the BBC, while police are still questioning three others. According to police, they had sought religious justification for the attack.

“Members of the group have been actively seeking a fatwa or religious ruling to justify a terror attack on Australia,” [Tony Negus, acting chief commissioner of the Australian Federal Police] said. Prosecutors told the court they had evidence some of the men had taken part in training and fighting in Somalia.

Mr. Sayed remained defiant while appearing in a magistrate’s court on Tuesday, reports The Age, an Australian daily.

El Sayed would not stand when asked to by Magistrate Peter Reardon. Asked why, El Sayed’s lawyer, Anthony Brand, said his client would stand for no man, only for God, according to his religious beliefs.

The Australian reports that police have been granted more time to question one of the four men arrested, and have applied for an extension for the other two.

The alleged target of the attack, the Holsworthy Barracks, is in an army base on the outskirts of Sydney and houses an antiterrorism unit, reports The Age.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Tuesday’s arrests are not entirely unexpected. A Somali Islamic scholar at the International Islamic University in Kuala Lumpur had previously pointed out that disaffected Somali youth might be recruited to participate in terrorist activities.

Two years ago, Islamic scholar Dr Herse Hilole warned that young Somali refugees in Melbourne were being seduced by Islamic extremists….

“My suspicion was that young Somali Muslims could be or may be used in the future to carry [out] some terrorist activities in Australia,” he said.

An analysis in The Times of London also points out that the Australian authorities have been aware of local terror threats.

There may be only 300,000 Muslims living in Australia, but there is a small and growing minority of Islamic extremists whose message of jihad has spread among disaffected youth….

Radical imams … have succeeded in drawing into their web young Lebanese and Somali men, some of them refugees, who feel alienated from the wider Australian community….

Last year the federal Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, warned that a terrorist threat was just as likely to emanate from disgruntled and alienated Australian youth as from an overseas organisation. The most recent report by the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation also outlined the threat from “a small but potentially dangerous minority of Australians who hold extremist views and are prepared to act in support of their beliefs”.

Posted in Australia, Islamofascism, Somalia, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

The terror of Lebanese Muslim crime groups in Australia

Posted by jagoindia on June 12, 2009

The rise of Middle Eastern crime groups in NSW

Tim Priest

National threat

The Middle Eastern crime groups and their associates number in the thousands, not the hundreds as the government and senior police would have you believe. It is the biggest crime problem we have ever faced, and it is growing.

But more remarkable were the occupants of the house. They were very recent arrivals from Lebanon, and from the moment we entered the premises, we wrestled and fought with the male occupants, were abused and spat at by the women and children, and our search took five times longer because of the impediments placed before us by the occupants, including the women hiding heroin in baby nappies and on themselves and refusing to be searched by policewomen because of religious beliefs. We had never encountered these problems before.

The rise of Middle Eastern crime groups in NSW

It was about 1995 to 1996 that the emergence of Middle Eastern crime groups was first observed in New South Wales. Before then they had been largely known for individual acts of anti social behaviour and loose family structures involved in heroin importation and supply as well as motor vehicle theft and conversion.

Lebanese gangs intimidate police

An example of the confrontations police nearly always experienced in Muslim-dominated areas when confronting even the most minor of crimes is an incident that occurred in 2001 in Auburn. Two uniformed officers stopped a motor vehicle containing three well known male offenders of Middle Eastern origin, on credible information via the police radio that indicated that the occupants of the vehicle had been involved in a series of break-and-enters. What occurred during the next few hours can only he described as frightening.

The Lebanese groups were ruthless, extremely violent, and they intimidated not only innocent witnesses, but even the police that attempted to arrest them.

To read more, click here

Posted in Australia, Islamofascism | 3 Comments »

Lebanese Muslim gangs attacking Indian students in Australia

Posted by jagoindia on June 12, 2009

Indian students in Sydney allege Lebanese youths attack them
PTI, June 11, 2009

Sydney: Indian students alleged on Thursday that Lebanese youths were behind the racially-motivated attacks on them here as they took to the streets for the third consecutive night protesting against racial attacks.

The spate of racial attacks against Indians spread to Sydney after members of the community were targeted in Melbourne.

Scores of Indian students last night took to the streets of Harris Park in Sydney for the third consecutive night to protest racially-motivated against them by Lebanese youths.

The protesters alleged that police were ignoring their pleas for protection.

The protests came a day after prime minister Kevin Rudd warned Indian students against “vigilante action” to prevent attacks against them.

Indian protesters continue to say that they were being attacked by Lebanese youths.

Australian PM urges protesters to ‘draw breath’
By Talek Harris –
SYDNEY (AFP) — Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Wednesday warned Indian students not to take the law into their own hands as protests against alleged racial violence stretched into a third night.
About 50 Indians confronted Lebanese youths in Sydney’s downmarket Harris Park area in a stand-off lasting about an hour before being persuaded to disperse by community leaders and a heavy police presence.
The latest incident comes after hundreds of Indians demonstrated on Monday night in response to an assault blamed on Lebanese men, ending in a revenge attack. About 70 gathered in the same area on Tuesday.

Who is attacking Indian students in Australia?
June 10 2009

By John FG McMahon
Please be assured that the problem lies not with ordinary Australians but disaffected immigrant/refugee youth of Sudanese and Middle-Eastern origin. As the students have themselves described, their attackers are in the main “black men (Africans)” or “Middle-Eastern”.

These immigrants/refugees have been warmly welcomed and embraced but they repay us with conduct such as this. One incident involved a Catholic nun walking down a Sydney street. She passed by two Muslim women dressed in their garb who turned on her, assaulted her, spat on her and tore the crucifix chain from her.

So please ignore the media there in India who have no idea at all. Our media, because of political correctness, refuses to describe the ethnicity of the attackers.

The Cronulla riots a few years ago came about with frustration by the locals with the lack of protection by the police from marauading Lebanese Muslim gangs who were brazeningly invading shops, restaurants, bars and cafes spitting and urinating on patrons and assaulting/intimidating all and sundry. One incident involved a young mother who had taken her toddler daughter to the beach.

The toddler was playing in the water when a gang of these militants came up to the mother and demanded that she cover up her daughter who was wearing a regular modest bathing costume. She refused and told them to go away. They did but returned a little later with knives. The young mother fled with her daughter.

A young fellow who had been away at sea for some weeks returned and was withdrawing money from a ATM. He was assaulted by one of these gangs and critically injured. He was repeatedly stabbed and the assault only stopped when the knife broke off in his back. These gangs hunt the streets at night looking for “skips”, their term for Australians. Now they have turned their attention to easier marks- students from India.

My view is that these immigrants/refugees should return to their countries of origin and take their violent evil disruptive ways with them. Australia is a land of immigrants. I am second generation Irish-Australian. Everyone has assimilated. From Greeks, Italians, Lebanese Catholics/Christians,Russians,Eskimos,South Americans, South Africans (black and white), Mexicans etc etc all get along except for those from Muslim countries/areas.

The Government(s), politicans and police are afraid to control these Muslims for fear of being labelled “racist”. This is the usual cry (yelp?) from the Muslims when they are criticized in any manner, rightfully or wrongfully.

Posted in Australia, Islamofascism | 14 Comments »

6 Australian Muslims jailed on terrorist plot to bomb and kill thousands

Posted by jagoindia on February 4, 2009

Australian Muslim cleric, six others jailed on terror charges
20 hours ago

MELBOURNE, Australia (AFP) — A Muslim cleric and six followers were jailed for up to 15 years Tuesday for forming an Australian terror cell that plotted bomb attacks designed to kill thousands.

The organisation fostered and encouraged its members to engage in violent jihad — to perform a terrorist act,” judge Bernard Bongiorno told Victoria state’s Supreme Court after Australia’s biggest terrorism trial.

Firebrand cleric Abdul Nacer Benbrika, 48, was jailed for 15 years, of which he must serve at least 12 years, while his followers received minimum terms of between four and seven-and-a-half years.

Algerian-born Benbrika had urged them to target large crowds at sports matches or a train station to pressure the Australian government to withdraw its soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan, the court heard.

Benbrika had said it was “permissible to kill women, children and the aged,” prosecutors said. Material seized from the group included bomb-making instructions and video tapes with messages from Osama bin Laden.

The men referred to themselves as mujahedeen, or holy warriors, and considered violent jihad an integral part of their religious obligations, said Bongiorno.

They were arrested in November 2005 after the government strengthened laws to detain those in the early stages of planning terror acts after the London transport bombings in July that year.

Describing Benbrika as an “unskilled fanatic,” Bongiorno said he sought explosives training from an undercover police officer and “all of the evidence points inexorably to a conclusion that he maintains his position with respect to violent jihad.”

Benbrika was so committed to violent jihad, Bongiorno said, that he had talked about continuing the group’s activities behind bars if its members were jailed.

While the group had not chosen a specific target or carried out an attack, the judge said they had shown no remorse, and did not appear to have renounced their beliefs.

“The existence of the… terrorist organisation constituted a significant threat that a terrorist act would be or would have, by now, been committed here,” the judge said.

“The absence of an imminent, let alone an actual, terrorist attack does not mean that condign punishment is not warranted in this case.”

Remy Ven de Wiel, defending Benbrika, had argued the defendants were not terrorists but young men learning about Islam from a self-styled sheikh who “couldn’t organise a booze-up in a brewery.”

He told the court his client was a braggart and did nothing more than talk about jihad, or holy war.

“The Muslims in Australia have a sense of powerlessness and political impotence and they express themselves,” Van de Wiel had told the jury.

But after eight months of evidence the jurors found Benbrika guilty of directing a terrorist organisation and the other six — Aimen Joud, 24, Fadl Sayadi, 28, Abdullah Merhi, 23, Ezzit Raad, 27, Ahmed Raad, 25 and Amer Haddara, 29 — guilty of being members.

Ahmed Raad, Ezzit Raad and Joud were also convicted of intentionally making funds available to a terrorist organisation, while Joud and Benbrika were found guilty of possessing a CD connected with the preparation of a terrorist act.

Bongiorno jailed Joud and Ahmed Raad for a minimum seven-and-a-half years each, Sayadi for six years, Ezzit Raad for five years and nine months, Haddara for four-and-a-half years and Merhi for four years.

An eighth man, Izzydeen Atik, pleaded guilty in August 2007 and was jailed for five-and-a-half years.
Australian Muslims jailed on terrorism charges
Asia-Pacific News
Feb 3, 2009, 3:56 GMT

Sydney – An Australian cleric and six of his followers were jailed Tuesday for forming a terrorist cell that police allege plotted to bomb the 100,000 spectators at the 2005 rugby cup final in Melbourne.

The Islamists were rounded up in November 2005 and found guilty in September 2008.

Algerian-born Abdul Nacer Benbrika, 48, who told his followers it was ‘permissible to kill women, children and the aged’ in the cause of jihad, was sentenced to 15 years for intentionally directing the activities of a terrorist organization.

His followers, aged 23-29, were jailed for between four years and seven-and-a-half years.

Judge Bernard Bongiorno told the court that the claim the group had plotted to blow up the Melbourne Cricket Ground was not proven because a witness at the trial had been deemed to be unreliable.

During the six-month trial, the jury heard 50 witnesses and listened to excerpts from 482 secretly recorded conversations among men who declared they wanted to ‘do something’ to honour their religion.

Bongiorno said father-of-seven Benbrika had shown no remorse and that ‘all the evidence points to the conclusion that he maintains his position with respect to violent jihad.’

Police said the group watched videos of beheadings in Iraq and read books glorifying the hijackers who flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York.

The arrest of Benbrika and his followers came days after Australia updated its terrorism laws so that cases could be brought against those thought to be plotting a terrorist attack who may not have fixed on a specific target.

Prior to their sentencing, only three Australians had been convicted of terrorism offences.

Jack Roche, a British-born Muslim convert, has been released after serving four years of a nine-year sentence for plotting the truck-bombing of the Israeli embassy in Canberra. Roche was picked up in the raids that followed the bombings in Bali, Indonesia, in November 2002.

Pakistan-born architect Khalid Lodhi was jailed for a minimum of 15 years in 2006 for plotting a terrorist attack.

Last year former airport baggage-handler Belal Khazaal was jailed for publishing a terrorism how-to manual on the internet.

Posted in Australia, Islam, Islamofascism, Jihad, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

Islamic cleric Hamza mocks Australia’s sexual assault laws

Posted by jagoindia on January 24, 2009

Kevin Rudd condemns Samir Abu Hamza’s comments on rape
January 22, 2009
Article from: Australian Associated Press

KEVIN Rudd has demanded an Islamic cleric apologise for reportedly telling male followers they can force their wives to have sex, and hit them if they’re disobedient.

The Prime Minister said Samir Abu Hamza’s comments had no place in modern Australia.

During a 2003 lecture also posted on the internet last year, Mr Hamza told followers that under Islamic law, men could demand sex from their wives.

Despite Australian laws requiring consent, it was impossible for a man to rape his wife even if she refused to have sex, he said.

He also said that Islamic law allowed men to hit their wives as a last resort, but were not allowed to leave them bruised or bloodied,

Mr Rudd said Mr Hamza should apologise.

“Under no circumstances is sexual violence permissible or acceptable in Australia – under no circumstances,” he said.

“Under no circumstances are other forms of violence, physical violence, acceptable towards women in Australia nor are they acceptable in my view to mainstream Muslim teachings.

“… Australia will not tolerate these sort of remarks. They don’t belong in modern Australia, and he should stand up, repudiate them and apologise.”

In the lecture, titled The Keys to a Successful Marriage, Mr Hamza mocks Australia’s sexual assault laws that require consent for sex between a man and his wife.

“Amazing, how can a man rape his wife?” he asks.

Mr Hamza, a cleric in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg, said a man could hit his wife on the hand or leg, but not on the head.

Posted in Australia, Islam, Rape, sex, Sharia | Leave a Comment »

Australia: Shocking revelations of a failed jihad

Posted by jagoindia on September 24, 2008

Sunday September 21, 2008
Shocking revelations of a failed jihad

SELF-PROCLAIMED Muslim cleric Abdul Nacer Benbrika had told his followers in a home-grown terrorist cell plotting massive bomb attacks on Australian soil that they must be prepared to die or be jailed.

He was accused of instructing them to blast a stadium packed with more than 91,000 fans of the Australian-rule football grand final in 2005.

And in one of the discussions with his followers he spoke about the youngest man in the group, Abdullah Merhi, 23, who was prepared to become Australia’s first suicide bomber. The plots failed because of simultaneous police raids.

Potential targets
Among the materials seized from the homes of the group members were literature on how to make bombs, video tapes of messages from al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and videos of the beheading of terrorist victims.

Benbrika’s instruction, contained in a batch of 482 tapes, was played at his seven-month marathon trial €” Australia’s biggest terrorism case costing multi-million-dollars €” which ended partly last week.

The jury of nine women and two men, who took 22 days of deliberations and emerged with highly unusual split verdicts, found Benbrika guilty of directing and intentionally being a member of a terror cell in Melbourne and possessing a CD connected with the preparation for a terrorist act.

Among the potential targets, the prosecution claimed, were Australia’s biggest entertainment and gambling centre Crown Casino and Melbourne’s rail network.

Perhaps the most serious allegation against the firebrand Benbrika was his declaration to his followers that it was “permissible to kill women, the elderly and children in the name of jihad”.

The Algerian-born former aircraft electrical technician, who had escaped three deportation orders since 1990 as an illegal immigrant before being granted permanent residency in 1995 on the ground of his marriage to a Lebanese woman with Australian citizenship, is said to have never worked and received welfare payments during most of the 18 years he has been allowed to live in Australia.

Ironically, one of his reasons for seeking permanent stay was that he loved the lifestyle in Australia.

A father of seven children, he is among the 12 men charged with a total of 27 counts of terrorist activities in Melbourne. Six of the accused were convicted last week, four were acquitted and the fate of two others has yet to be decided in a retrial. Those convicted will be sentenced in November.

The group, operating between July 2004 and November 2005, was plotting to bomb various targets in an attempt to pressure the Australian government to withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

To fund the group, some members had allegedly stolen cars and sold them to raise money. Other funds had come from frauds committed against non-Muslims for which Benbrika was alleged to have granted fatwa or Islamic ruling.

The court was told that in May 2005, a police undercover agent, codenamed S1039, posed as a Muslim of Turkish origin and was introduced to the group.

He attended Benbrika’s religious classes and played his role so convincingly that he eventually had long private meetings with the cell leader.

Tit for tat
Benbrika trusted S1039 and, together, they went on a bomb-testing trip in October 2004 to a remote part of Mt Disappointment forest in Kilmore where they blew up a small version of a planned 500kg chemical-based bomb.

Tapes, secretly recorded by S1039, alleged that Benbrika had earlier discussed jihad being pursued by Muslims overseas in retaliation for “atrocities committed against innocent Muslims in Iraq and elsewhere”.

Benbrika told S1039 that violent jihad was justified in Australia because the country had joined forces with the US in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He was also heard bragging about what he hoped to achieve. “We’ll damage buildings, blast things … we’ll think big, not small,” he was recorded as saying in a tape.

Shockingly, the gruesome evidence of the group’s intention was an extract of the exchange of conversations in one tape between Benbrika and Merhi, the would-be Australia’s first suicide bomber.

Benbrika: If they kill our kids, we kill (inaudible) little kids.

Merhi: The innocent ones?

Benbrika: The innocent ones. Because he (referring to former Prime Minister John Howard) kills innocent ones.

Merhi: And we send a message back to them.

Benbrika: That’s it.

Merhi: Eye for an eye.

Benbrika: So the jihad exists here.

Describing the case as the most successful terrorist prosecution that Australia has ever seen, Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland said he believed all the agencies had done an outstanding job given “the complexities involved in the fine line of gathering intelligence and the fine line of gathering evidence, which is admissible in court proceedings”.

“I would be naïve to discount the prospect of a terrorist attack in Australia,” he declared. “Clearly, a terrorist attack in Australia is possible.”

Jeffrey Francis is editorial consultant, Australasia-Pacific Media

Posted in Australia, Islamofascism, Jihad, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

Limit Muslim migration, Australia warned

Posted by jagoindia on August 31, 2008

Limit Muslim migration, Australia warned
Barney Zwartz
February 16, 2007

The Australian Jewish News yesterday quoted Raphael Israeli as saying Australia should cap Muslim immigration or risk being swamped by Indonesians.

Professor Israeli told the Herald that was a misunderstanding. But he said: “When the Muslim population gets to a critical mass you have problems. That is a general rule, so if it applies everywhere it applies in Australia.”

Professor Israeli, an expert on Islamic history from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has been brought to Australia by the Shalom Institute of the University of NSW. The Australia-Israel Jewish Affairs Council is co-hosting many of his activities.

He said Muslim immigrants had a reputation for manipulating the values of Western countries, taking advantage of their hospitality and tolerance.

“Greeks or Italians or Jews don’t use violence. There is no Italian or Jewish Hilaly [a reference to the controversial cleric Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly of Lakemba mosque]. Why?”

Professor Israeli said that when the Muslim population increased, so did the risk of violence.

“Where there are large Muslim populations who are prepared to use violence you are in trouble. If there is only 1 or 2 per cent they don’t dare to do it – they don’t have the backing of big communities. They know they are drowned in the environment of non-Muslims and are better behaved.”

In Australia, Muslims account for about 1.5 per cent of the population.

Professor Israeli said that in France, which has the highest proportion of Muslims in Europe at about 10 per cent, it was already too late. There were regions even the police were scared to enter, and militant Muslims were changing the country’s political, economic and cultural fabric, and demanding anti-Semitic and anti-Israel policies.

“French people say they are strangers in their own country. This is a point of no return.

“If you are on a collision course, what can you do? You can’t put them all in prison, and anyway they are not all violent. You can’t send them all back. You are really in trouble. It’s irreversible.”

Professor Israeli said that in Australia a few imams had preached violence. “You should not let fundamentalist imams come here. Screen them 1000 times before they are admitted, and after they are admitted screen what they say in the mosque.”

He said some Muslims wanted to impose sharia (Islamic law) in their adopted countries, and when propaganda did not work they turned to intimidation.

Professor Israeli said his task was to describe, not prescribe. He also said his warning did not include immigrants, including Muslims, who simply wanted to improve their lot. As long as they respected the law and democracy, their numbers — Buddhist, Muslim or Jew — were immaterial. It became material when a group accepted violence.

“The trains in London and Madrid were not blown up by Christians or Buddhists but by Muslims, so it is them we have to beware,” he said.

Keysar Trad, of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, said “Not only religious clerics need to be screened before entering Ausralia but also academics … this type of academic does nothing but create hatred, suspicion and division … We should review not only what the man has said but also those who have sponsored him, to see if they endorse those comments.”

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