* Because ‘war is deceit’- said Muhammad
…and since it worked so well for David Hicks aka Mahmud Dawood, why not try the same little tricks to get off?
Update:Â “White boy” terror suspect claims to have “fooled” al-Qaeda
“Terror suspect Jack Thomas fooled al-Qaeda, trial told,” from theÂ Australian
A JURY has been warned to be sceptical of what Joseph Terrence Thomas said in a television interview because he deliberately painted himself as a “naive young boy”.
Prosecutors told the Victorian Supreme Court yesterday that Mr Thomas’s lawyers had allowed the Muslim convert to be interviewed by the ABC, and therefore the 35-year-old was very careful in the answers he gave to journalist Sally Neighbour.
In his closing address to the jury, Nicholas Robinson SC said Mr Thomas had emphasised a naive persona in the Four Corners interview, but his actions were anything but naive and were in fact calculated.
Mr Thomas has pleaded not guilty to one charge of knowingly receiving funds from a terrorist organisation and one charge of falsifying an Australian passport.
Prosecutors allege Mr Thomas accepted $US3500 and an airline ticket from senior al-Qa’ida member Khaled bin Attash in January 2003 and that the 35-year-old knew Attash was from the global terrorist organisation.
Defence counsel say Mr Thomas was simply trying to get out of the region because he feared for his safety and he believed the money and ticket was a donation from concerned Pakistani families.
Mr Robinson told the jury that most of the evidence presented to them came from the interview Mr Thomas did with Neighbour.
“You are entitled to be fairly critical and sceptical of the answers he gave,” Mr Robinson said. “His answers in the interview … were clearly considered by the way it might have been seen by the public.”
Mr Robinson said Mr Thomas played down to Neighbour what he knew about al-Qa’ida when he went to Afghanistan before September 11 to fight for the Taliban in the country’s civil war. “The persona he suggested when he was talking directly to the ABC is that he is a young naive boy who got lost in events over his head.”
Defence lawyer Jim Kennan said in his closing address that Mr Thomas was in fact a “fairly ordinary, average sort of bloke” who found himself in a terrible situation and took the money and plane ticket to get home.
His client had a reasonable defence for altering the Taliban visa on his passport because he feared it would be a one-way ticket to Guantanamo Bay.
Mr Kennan said the prosecution case was “riddled with doubts”, based on speculation not inference, and did not include hard evidence.
The trial, before judge Elizabeth Curtain, continues.
Joseph “Jack” Terrence ThomasÂ (bornÂ 1973) is anÂ AustralianÂ citizen whose conviction for receiving funds fromÂ Al-QaedaÂ was overturned on appeal. Thomas, commonly referred to in Australian media as “Jihad Jack”, was acquitted of providing resources that would assist in a terrorist act before becoming the first Australian to be placed under a control order under theÂ Australian Anti-Terrorism Act 2005
A JURY has retired to consider its verdict in the trial of a Melbourne man accused of receiving funds from al-Qa’ida.
Joseph Terrence Thomas, 35, has been on trial in the Victoria Supreme Court since last Tuesday.Â
He is accused of receiving $US3500 ($5000) and a plane ticket from the terrorist organisation al-Qa’ida, and having a false passport.Â
Most of the evidence put before the trial comes from interviews Thomas had with ABC journalist Sally Neighbour in 2005 for the Four Corners program, and interviews with Fairfax Media journalist Ian Munro in early 2006.Â
Thomas, from Werribee, travelled to Afghanistan in March 2001, originally with his wife and child, to train with the Taliban to fight in the civil war.Â
He ended up in an al-Qa’ida camp but says he didn’t know it was run by the terrorist group until he saw Osama bin Laden at the camp for the first time, before September 11.Â
The jury of 12 retired at 1.30pm (AEDT) to deliberate.
“White boy” terror suspect claims to have “fooled” al-Qaeda
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, death to you
“Terror suspect Jack Thomas fooled al-Qaeda, trial told,” from theÂ Australian, October 20:
JACK Thomas deceived al-Qaeda by accepting money from the terrorist organisation while not intending to carry outÂ an offer of “work”, a court has been told.Â
Crown prosecutor Nicholas Robinson SC said Mr Thomas was not naive as he described himself, but calculating.
“He was the one who used the term naive, but look at what he did,” Mr Robinson told the court in his closing address today.
“He took tickets and money from (Khaled) bin Attash who was clearly a member of al-Qaeda … and he took them intending not to work.
“He deceived al-Qaeda.”
Mr Thomas, 35, is on trial in the Victorian Supreme Court for receiving funds from a terrorist organisation and possessing a falsified passport.
The Crown alleges the Melbourne man accepted $US3500 ($5053) and a plane ticket to Australia from al-Qaeda operative, Khaled bin Attash, in Pakistan between November 2002 and January 2003.
During that period, Bin Attash approached Mr Thomas claiming to have a message from Osama bin Laden that the terrorist leader wanted a “white boy” to work for him in Australia, and that he, bin Attash, could offer $US10,000 ($14,438) immediately to anyone willing to carry out an attack.
Mr Thomas travelled to Afghanistan in March 2001, originally with his wife and child, to train with the Taliban to fight in the civil war.
He ended up in an al-Qaeda camp but says he didn’t know it was run by the terrorist group until he saw Osama bin Laden at the camp for the first time, before September 11.
His barrister, Jim Kennan SC, said Thomas was certainly naive because he travelled to Afghanistan in the belief he could help stop the civil war.
“If that isn’t the height of naivety, what is?” Mr Kennan told the court.
“We say it’s the height of naivety.”
Mr Kennan said the proposition by the Crown that Thomas defrauded al-Qaeda showed what a “thin and desperate Crown case this is.
“That’s really … a very desperate interpretation of that evidence,” he said.
Mr Kennan argued there was no evidence before the jury to suggest bin Attash was a member of al-Qaeda.
He said the money and ticket were organised by PakistaniÂ well-wishers, with whom Attash was involved.
The case before Justice Elizabeth Curtain, is continuing.