An Australian Muslim was acquitted of shooting and attempting to kill a police officer in June, based on the judge’s decision that an unsubstantiated “anti-Muslim feeling in the community” had helped make the perpetrator skittish enough to open fire out of fear. Now, it turns out that this man was found to be a fervent and committed terrorist who wanted to carry out an attack in Australia.
Daily Telegraph The Sydney-born man admitted supporting violent jihad and was inspired by the 2005 London terror bombings. He had material praising Osama bin Laden, and guns, ammunition and chemicals to make the explosive TATP, known as “mother of Satan”.
The Daily Telegraph last week reported how in June this year District Court Judge Leonie Flannery acquitted the 34-year-old of shooting at police with intent to murder. Judge Flannery found he was carrying a loaded gun down his pants when police arrested him in 2005 over the terror plot but that it was because he feared for his own safety due to “Islamophobic” feeling in the community.
Now, it can be revealed he is in the state’s highest-security prison, Supermax in Goulburn, serving a minimum sentence of 14 years and maximum of 18 years and eight months for terrorism-related offences. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Whealy, who sentenced the man on terror charges, yesterday lifted a suppression order on his judgment.
It revealed the man pleaded guilty in November 2008 to two counts of committing an act in preparation for a terrorist act and two of possessing a thing connected with the preparation for a terrorist act. He had collected two loaded handguns, 900 rounds of ammunition for military assault rifles, five litres of battery acid, five litres of hydrochloric acid and a Nokia telephone handset – all items he intended to use as part of the plot.
The judgment said he posed as a man called Jeffrey Leydon as he contacted chemical suppliers inquiring about sulphuric acid. He had a collection of jihadist documents “extolling the virtues of Osama bin Laden”, praising martyrdom during violent jihad (holy war), and footage of at least two “gruesome” executions. He also possessed instructions on sniper training, weapons, and the assembly and detonation of explosives.
In psychological interviews in custody, the man said he began to question the situation of Muslims worldwide after September 11, 2001, and the impact of the London bombings had impressed him by bringing the city to a standstill.
“He said he thought if he could do something similar in Australia without hurting people, it would extend awareness of the aggression against Muslims and alert Australians to oppose the government and stop the nation’s alliance with the United States,” a psychological report stated.
Justice Whealy found the man was “a committed terrorist whose actions posed a significant danger to the community”. His earliest release date is November 7, 2019.