Five Sydney terrorists jailed
February 15, 2010 - 2:39PM
Five Sydney men convicted of terrorism-related offences have been sentenced to maximum sentences ranging from 23 to 28 years in prison.
Justice Anthony Whealy, who presided over a trial that began in November 2008, said in the Supreme Court at Parramatta that the offence of conspiring to commit an act in preparation for a terrorist act or acts was higher on the scale of criminality.
He said today that he was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that each of the offenders had intended that the end result of their actions would be serious damage to property, carrying with it the risk of death or injury to the public.
The men are not allowed to be named for legal reasons.
The first man, 44, regarded as the principal organiser of the conspiracy, was sentenced to a maximum term of 28 years in prison, commencing on November 8, 2005, when he was arrested, with a non-parole period of 21 years.
The second man 36, was sentenced to 27 years in prison from the time of his arrest in 2005, with a non-parole period of 20 years and three months.
The third man, 40, was sentenced to 20 years in prison from the time of his arrest in 2005, with a non-parole period of 19 years and six months.
The fourth man, 34, was also sentenced to 26 years in prison from the time of his arrest in 2005, with a non-parole period also of 19 years and six months.
The fifth man, 25, who entered the conspiracy later than the others and was not arrested until September 21, 2006, received a term of 23 years, backdated to the time of his arrest with a non-parole period of 17 years and three months.
The five men were among nine people arrested in a huge police and ASIO crackdown in 2005 and 2006.
Of those, four have pleaded guilty to lesser offences and have been dealt with.
The five who elected to go on trial pleaded not guilty and were convicted on October 16 last year.
Justice Whealy said in his remarks on sentencing today that the jury had apparently been satisfied that each of the five had intended that acts be carried in Australia involving the detonation of explosives. He said the jury must have been satisfied that this was for the purpose of carrying out violent jihad so as to coerce the Australian government to change its policies regarding the invasion of Muslim countries.
Justice Whealy said that what was particularly appalling was the videos and other extremist materials that had been found in possession of the accused.
He said that some of the videos involving executions were so horrific that they had not been shown to the jury. Instead, only a written summary had been provided.
Each of the offenders, Justice Whealy said, had been driven by a religious zeal, and the fact that it was a conspiracy meant that it took on a life of its own and was more menacing than the individual acts of the participants.
He said that chemicals for bomb making and ammunition had been accumulated in preparation for a terrorist act or acts and he noted that there was "a wide range" of material that had never been recovered and might be available to terrorists in future conspiracies.
Justice Whealy was not satisfied that the accused men had intended to kill.
But he was satisfied that, because of the extreme nature in their views, what they intended to happen contained the possibility that life would be taken.
The five accused wore traditional clothing and four of them wore prayer caps.
During the judge's summing up, some of them smiled and, during breaks in his address, some of them exchanged pleasantries with each other.
After the sentences were pronounced and the judge left the bench, all five broke into smiles.
Two men shouted from the back of the court in Arabic: "Be patient. Allah is with you."
Terrorism-related offences | Sydney | jailed
The suspects had been arrested in 2005 after months of surveillance, wiretaps and searches of their homes, police officials said. The police found bomb-making guides and radical Islamist literature that was said to endorse mass murder and martyrdom as part of jihad, according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald.
The judge said Monday that some of the seized material glorified Osama Bin Laden and included graphic images of violence involving hostages, ABC Radio reported.
The government had also charged that one of the men had trained at a Lashkar-e-Taiba camp in Pakistan, according to reports by Australian newspapers. Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist group based in Pakistan, has been blamed by the United States and India for a number of bold terror attacks, including the rampage by gunmen through the Indian city of Mumbai last November in which more than 160 people were killed.
Australian Men Sentenced for Terrorism Plot - NYTimes.com
28 years...? not long enough IMO
Don't certain parts of the US have 200+yr sentences? 28 yrs jail is hardly going to change the mindset of these criminal scum...they wanna be martyrs? Surely that could be arranged somehow...