By Norrie Ross/Herald Sun / thanks to Mullah
FIVE Muslim men planned an armed terrorist attack on a Sydney army base to further the cause of Islam by killing as many people as possible, a Supreme Court jury heard today.
They wanted to further the cause of Islam, but hey, Â nothing to see here, look away: “The Islamic faith is not on trial,” Justice King said. “It isn’t about being a Muslim.”
Prosecutor Nick Robinson SC said the men took a number of steps in preparation for the attack, including sending one of their number to Somalia to obtain a fatwa or religious decree to permit the plan to go ahead.
Mr Robinson said members of the group used the code “the man who has gone to Perth” when talking about Yacqub Khayre’s trip in search of a fatwa.
The plan was that five or six men armed with high powered weapons would enter the Holsworthy Army Base and fire at and kill as many people as possible before they were either killed or overwhelmed.
They planned to use weapons that could fire at least 60 bullets.
On trial are Saney Edow Aweys, 26, Mr Khayre, 22, Abdirahman Mohamud Ahmed, 25, and Wissam Mahmoud Fattal, 33,and Nayef El Sayed, 25.
They have all pleaded not guilty to conspiring with each other and persons unknown between February 1 and August 4 last year to do acts in preparation for, or planning a terrorist act or acts.
Mr Robinson said the men believed Islam was under attack from the West and that Australians and the Australian Government were oppressing innocent Muslims in Afghanistan.
They were also upset that another man had been convicted of terrorist acts in this country.
“The Crown case was that this was to advance the cause of Islam,” he said.
Opening the Crown case, Mr Robinson said Mr Fattal left his home in Lakemba in NSW and visited the Holsworthy base to assess its suitability for carrying out the terrorist shootings.
Mr Khayre texted him the address of the base from a public phone in High St , Preston in Victoria.
Mr Robinson said the men needed to obtain the fatwa from Somalia because they could not find an Australian-based sheik to issue one.
As they were planning the attack members of the group exchanged texts and messages and had conversations, some of which were secretly recorded and would be played in court.
Before the trial commenced, Justice Betty King warned the jury that the trial was about the alleged commission of a criminal offence, not about Islam.
“The Islamic faith is not on trial,” Justice King said. “It isn’t about being a Muslim.”
The trial is continuing.