2 Lebanese, 1 Somali Guilty over Jihadist Plot on Sydney Army Base
Three men, including two Lebanese, were found guilty Thursday of plotting to attack a Sydney army base with high-powered weapons and kill as many people as possible to further the cause of Islam.
The Supreme Court in Melbourne heard that the men, who have been linked with Islamic extremists in Somalia, planned to continue their rampage at Sydney’s Holsworthy army barracks until they were killed or captured.
Melbourne men Wissam Mahmoud Fattal, 34, Nayef El Sayed, 26 — both of Lebanese descent — and Somali Saney Edow Aweys, 27 were found guilty of conspiring to prepare for or plan a terrorist act between February 1 and August 4, 2009.
“Islam is truth religion. Thank you very much,” Fattal told the jury.
No date was set for sentencing, but the three were ordered back to court on January 24 for an administrative hearing.
Meanwhile Somalis Abdirahman Mohamud Ahmed, 26, and Yacqub Khayre, 23, were found not guilty after the three-month trial. They hugged their co-defendants before leaving the dock.
“I think justice has been served,” Ahmed said, adding that the three convictions were “unfortunate but this is God’s will.
“I just want to tell them to be patient. They’ll get out one day,” he said.
Crown prosecutor Nick Robinson earlier said the plot was hatched between February and August 4 last year, when the five were arrested in a swoop involving hundreds of police in Melbourne.
He said one of the accused visited Somalia to seek a fatwa, or religious decree, for the attack, adding they had condemned Australia’s involvement in the war in Afghanistan and believed the country was oppressing Muslims.(AFP)