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Islamists jailed for army plot

| 17.12,11. 02:38 AM |



Islamists jailed for army plot

December 17, 2011

THREE Islamic extremists have been jailed over an "evil" terrorist plot to kill Australian soldiers at Sydney's Holsworthy army base.
Victorian Supreme Court Justice Betty King yesterday said the men should hang their heads in shame as she jailed them for 18 years.

Wissam Mahmoud Fattal, 35, Saney Edow Aweys, 28, and Nayef El Sayed, 27, planned to shoot as many soldiers as possible at Holsworthy.

Fattal was ejected from the court at the beginning of Justice King's sentencing after he stood up and began ranting about "corruption" in Palestine and Afghanistan.

Justice King said it would have been horrific if their attack had happened.

"Your plans were evil. You intended to carry out a random shooting at anyone on that army base," she said.

She said Australia had embraced the men and they should feel ashamed about what they had planned to do.

Justice King said all three showed no remorse and had not renounced extremism.

Fattal, a former kickboxing champion, was especially rigid in his beliefs, she said.

"He is an intolerant Muslim ... he believes everything has to be done his way," she said.

sDuring a three-month trial in 2010, the court heard the men wanted to advance Islam, which they believed was under attack from the West, including Australia.

Most of the prosecution case relied on transcripts of secretly recorded telephone conversations.

The trio were against Australian troops in Afghanistan, believing it was oppressing innocent Muslims and they wanted to advance their religion as they perceived it.

The men, of Somali and Lebanese descent, were also motivated by anger that a man was convicted on terrorism charges in Australia, prosecutor Nick Robinson SC said.

Two other Melbourne men - Yacqub Khayre, 23, of Meadow Heights, and Abdirahman Mohamud Ahmed, 26, of Preston - were cleared by a jury over their roles in the terror plot.

Fattal was filmed by security footage walking around the boundary of the Holsworthy barracks and spoke of being awarded paradise if he killed Australian soldiers.

"If I find way to kill the army, I swear to Allah the great I'm going to do it," Fattal told an undercover police officer.

Aweys was recorded celebrating the death toll in the Black Saturday bushfires, saying it brought retribution for the conviction of a man on terrorism charges.

"Thanks to Allah ... Allah bring them calamity," he said.

The men were arrested in pre-dawn raids across Melbourne in August 2009.

As the sentences were delivered family members wailed in shock, including one woman who screamed "Oh my God" and covered her mouth.

As Aweys and El Sayed were led out of the court, El Sayed raised his finger and began shouting at the judge.

As he passed the judge's chair, he said: "Allah gives us justice, not these courts."

The men were ordered to serve a non-parole period of 13-and-a-half years.


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