Osama bin Laden ordered a Muslim convert to help prepare a terrorist attack to topple the Australian government, Victoria supreme court was told yesterday.
Joseph Thomas, 32, a taxi driver who changed his name to Jihad, was told to act as a sleeper agent and spy on military installations, said Nicholas Robinson, prosecuting….
Mr Robinson said Thomas told police that he had seen bin Laden “at close quarters” several times and had trained for about three months at al-Qa’eda bases in Afghanistan before the September 11 attacks on America.
He was in Pakistan by July 2002, stayed in al-Qa’eda safe houses and allegedly overheard a plot to shoot down an aircraft carrying the Pakistani president, Pervez Musharraf, with a rocket launcher….
Thomas returned to Australia in June 2004 after being held in Pakistan for six months on suspicion of having terrorist connections. The court was told that bin Attash had given him Â£2,000 and booked a Qantas airline ticket for him.
Thomas’s lawyer, Lex Lasry, said his client might be naive or even stupid but he was not a terrorist.
That’s a distinction without a difference if I ever saw one.