Terrorists’ jihad on jail in Sydney
After Â $10 million in legal aid they’re trying to force their victims, the Australian taxpayers, Â to spend even more to let them out sooner. There’s got to be a cheaper and more effective way to deal with cultural enrichers like these.
(clockwise top L) Abdul Rakib Hasan, Mohammed Omar Jamal, Moustafa Cheikho, Mohamed Ali Elomar and Khaled Cheikho, found guilty Â of committing acts in preparation for a terrorist act or acts, at Supreme Court, Parramatta in Sydney.
THEY are the convicted terrorists who planned to bomb a Sydney target and appeared to wear their time in prison like a of badge of honour.
But five members of the westernÂ SydneyÂ terrorist cell have appealed against their record sentences – which ranged from 23 to 28 years – claiming the judge who sent them to jail was too severe.
Mohamed Ali Elomar, Khaled and Moustafa Cheikho, Abdul Rakib Hasan and Mohammed Omar Jamal were part of a nine-man terrorist cell that planned to attack an unspecified Sydney target.
They were found guilty by a jury on October 16, 2009, and now retired judge Anthony Whealy ordered the men serve the longest jail sentences for terrorism offences in Australia.The Sunday Telegraph can reveal a date has been set for their court challenge in the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal: June 3.
The federal Director of Public Prosecutions said: “The defendants have lodged appeals against their sentences and the severity of their sentences.”Their trial heard the men were Muslim extremists who intended to wage “violent jihad” against Australia to “coerce or influence by intimidation the Australian Government” to drop its support for US involvement in “Middle Eastern and other areas involving Muslims”.
The terrorist group ordered or bought hundreds of litres of chemicals which could be used to make explosives. They also bought firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunitions from gun shops in western Sydney.
The five were part of a nine-man cell with had links to a Victorian terrorist network. At least one Sydney member was close to Abdul Nacer Benbrika, a Melbourne extremist since jailed over a plot to blow up targets including the MCG.
All nine members of the Sydney cell were arrested in an investigation involving the NSW Police, ASIO and others.
The preparation for the terrorist act occurred between July 2004 and November 2005, their trial was told.
Four of the nine admitted terrorism offences and were jailed for five to 18 years.
They were Mirsad Mulahalilovic, Khaled Sharrouf, Mazen Touma and Omar Baladjam, a former actor who appeared on Home and Away and ABC drama Wildside.
The other five entered pleas of not guilty on November 3, 2008. Justice Whealy described the 11-month trial as one of the most traumatic of his career.
Crown prosecutors called 231 witnesses, including experts in DNA, fingerprinting, handwriting, ballistics and computer forensics.
Justice Whealy said the five “do appear to wear their imprisonment like some kind of badge of honour”.
Defence lawyers said the men denied there was a terrorist conspiracy and denied taking part in it.