Australian AG Philip Ruddock (Reuters)
What would make a medical student from Australia throw it all away to wage jihad in Kashmir? Must have been his grinding poverty, along with his ignorance that was exploited by cynical mullahs for political ends. After all, the streets are filled with poor, ignorant medical students who are like kindling for the fire of extremism.
In fact, stories like this one make it clear that the problem we are facing in jihad terrorism is not ultimately one that economic or social or educational solutions will solve. It comes from deeply held religious convictions based on tenets that will continue to breed mujahedin, rich ones and poor ones alike, until they are decisively rejected.
And of course, the defense says that the prosecution’s case is very weak. Listening to Muslim advocacy groups and their spokesmen, one gets the impression that no guilty person has ever been charged with a terrorism-related offense.
From Reuters, :
CANBERRA (Reuters) – A 21-year-old university student was charged in Australia on Thursday with being trained by the Pakistan-based Kashmiri separatist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is banned in Australia as a terrorist group.
A police spokesman said the man, a medical student from Glenwood in Sydney, was arrested on Thursday morning and appeared in a local court. He was refused bail and remanded to reappear in court on May 5.
Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said the court was told the man, who arrived in Australia from Pakistan in 1998, trained with Lashkar-e-Taiba for two months in early 2003.
He was arrested following a lengthy investigation by Australian Federal Police.
“This is the first case involving a charge in relation to training with a terrorist organization,” Ruddock told reporters.
Australia, a close U.S. ally, has beefed up its counter-terrorism laws since the September 11, 2001, hijacked airline attacks in the United States, making it a criminal offence to belong to, train with, fund or recruit members for a proscribed terror group.
The offence carries a jail term of up to 25 years.
Last November the government added Lashkar-e-Taiba to its list of outlawed “terrorist groups,” saying it had received advice that there were links between Australia and the Pakistan-based group fighting for freedom from India for the Muslim-majority Kashmir region.
Last year French national Willy Brigitte, an Islamic convert, was deported from Australia to Paris for questioning about terror activities. He was believed to have had links to Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Ruddock declined to comment on whether the two cases were linked or to give further details with the matter now before the courts.
The man’s solicitor, Adam Houda, told Australian television that his client would defend the charges.
“As it stands it’s a weak prosecution case. The matter will be vigorously defended and I’m very confident of a favorable outcome,” Houda told the Channel Nine network.
Ruddock said the man now before the courts attended high school in Sydney after arriving in Australia and was currently studying medicine at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.