Shock Horror DownUnder: Convicted jihadists “continue to adhere to the philosophy of violent jihad”

*  And why wouldn’t they? What would have disabused them of these notions? Have any Islamic leaders in Australia met with them and tried to convince them that they had gotten Islam terribly, terribly wrong? If so, how did they try to do this, and why were they unsuccessful? If not, why not, and what are the implications of that fact?

“Five men convicted of terror-related offences won’t renounce jihad,” by Norrie Ross in the Herald Sun, via JW

FIVE of seven men convicted of being part of a home-grown Melbourne terror cell have refused to renounce their violent jihadi views.

As the Supreme Court today commenced pre-sentence plea hearings for the convicted men, prosecutor Nick Robinson SC said their failure to renounce terrorist views was disturbing. 

Mr Robinson said Ezzit Raad, Fadl Sayadi, Aimen Joud, Abdullah Merhi and Ahmed Raad had all placed material before the court where they actively refused to renounce the terrorist philosophy behind their crimes. 

In their submission to the pre-sentence hearing they rejected the verdicts of the jury, he said, and there was no evidence they did not “continue to adhere to the philosophy of violent jihad”. 

In September the men, along with two others, were convicted of a number of terrorist offences.

The trial heard the potential targets of the group were the MCG on Grand Final Day, Melbourne’s rail network and the Crown casino during Grand Prix week. 

Barrister Greg Barns, in his plea on behalf of Ezzit Raad, said his client had a lower level of culpability than some of the other convicted men and was only heard speaking on 23 out of 482 secretly recorded conversations between members. 

“He is a member but a member who has a relatively minor role in the organisation,” Mr Barns said. 

Mr Barns said Ezzit Raad did not accept the verdict but he held no grudge against the Australian community or the prosecution. 

He said his client believed he had been convicted for what he thought rather than what he did and he believed the breadth of anti-terror legislation was to blame for his conviction. 

Justice Bernard Bongiorno remarked that in one crucial conversation involving Ezzit Raad there was talk of raising money to obtain guns and he said on one view it revealed what the organisation hoped to become. 

The judge said it might never have achieved its ends but the prospect was “pretty frightening”. 

The court heard Ezzit Raad, 26, an electrician from Preston, is married with two children. 

At the trial he denied the existence of any group when interviewed by police and described its spiritual leader as nothing more than a friend. 

In one conversation Ezzit Raad was recorded to have said it was a pity more people had not died in the 2005 London terrorist bombings 

He was found guilty of intentionally making funds available to a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation 

He was also convicted of being a member of a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation 

The other convicted men were:

Abdul Nacer Benbrika, 48, of Dallas

Also known as Abu Bakr, the Algerian-born Muslim cleric arrived in Australia in 1989. He married in 1992 and has seven children. He was said to be the spiritual leader of the group and they called him “Sheik”. He was found:

- Guilty of intentionally being a member of a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation.

- Guilty of intentionally directing the activities of a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation.

- Guilty of possessing a CD connected with the preparation of a terrorist act.

*  A cleric? Didn’t he realize he was twisting and hijacking the peaceful tenets of Islam?

Aimen Joud, 23, project manager, of Hoppers Crossing

The second-youngest member of the group, he used 13 mobile phones at different times, only one in his own name. The court was told he helped run the group as part of a three-man leadership committee. He denied trying to buy weapons, including AK-47 assault rifles. He was found:

- Guilty of intentionally providing resources to a terrorist organisation knowing it was a terrorist organisation. 

– Guilty of intentionally making funds available to a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation.

- Guilty of being a member of a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation. 

– Guilty of two counts of possessing a CD connected with the preparation of a terrorist act.

Fadl Sayadi, 28, forklift driver and concreter, of Coburg

Alleged to have been the group’s intelligence and security officer and a member of a three-man leadership committee. Warned Benbrika to be careful of an undercover police officer attempting to infiltrate the group 

– Guilty of intentionally providing resources to a terrorist organisation knowing it was a terrorist organisation.

- Guilty of being a member of a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation. 

Ahmed Raad, 25, of Fawkner

Married with one child, he is the brother of two other accused, Ezzit and Majed Raad. The court was told he looked after the group’s joint fund, or “sandooq”, as part of a three-man leadership committee. He was found: 

– Guilty of intentionally providing resources to a terrorist organisation knowing it was a terrorist organisation.

- Guilty of intentionally making funds available to a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation.

- Guilty of being a member of a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation. 

Abdullah Merhi, 23, apprentice electrician, of Fawkner

Married with one child and the youngest of the accused. It was alleged he wanted to become a suicide bomber for the group. His lawyer claimed Merhi was an impressionable young man who fell under Benbrika’s spell. He was found:

- Guilty of being a member of a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation.

Amer Haddara 28, of Yarraville

- Guilty of being a member of a terrorist organisation, knowing it was a terrorist organisation. 

Hany Taha, 33, of Hadfield, Shoue Hammoud, 28, of Hadfield and Bassam Raad, 27, of Brunswick and Majed Raad, 23, of Coburg were cleared by the jury of all charges. 

The jury was unable to reach a verdict in the case of Shane Kent, 31, of Meadow Heights and he has since been released on bail.

2 thoughts on “Shock Horror DownUnder: Convicted jihadists “continue to adhere to the philosophy of violent jihad””

  1. Please jail them and then deport them. My parents didn’t pay taxes all their lives to have these vermin scrounge off their pensions – the money that we give the government should be used to better Australia – not support these useless muslim scum who contribute NOTHING!

  2. “not support these useless muslim scum who contribute NOTHING!”
    If the whole western world would just agree on this point, we would all be better off economicly.!

Comments are closed.