And why wouldn’t they? What would have disabused them of these notions? Have any Islamic leaders in Australia met with them and tried to convince them that they had gotten Islam terribly, terribly wrong? If so, how did they try to do this, and why were they unsuccessful? If not, why not, and what are the implications of that fact?
“Five men convicted of terror-related offences won’t renounce jihad,” by Norrie Ross in the Herald Sun, November 18 (thanks to JE):
FIVE of seven men convicted of being part of a home-grown Melbourne terror cell have refused to renounce their violent jihadi views.
As the Supreme Court today commenced pre-sentence plea hearings for the convicted men, prosecutor Nick Robinson SC said their failure to renounce terrorist views was disturbing.
Mr Robinson said Ezzit Raad, Fadl Sayadi, Aimen Joud, Abdullah Merhi and Ahmed Raad had all placed material before the court where they actively refused to renounce the terrorist philosophy behind their crimes.
In their submission to the pre-sentence hearing they rejected the verdicts of the jury, he said, and there was no evidence they did not “continue to adhere to the philosophy of violent jihad”.
In September the men, along with two others, were convicted of a number of terrorist offences.
The trial heard the potential targets of the group were the MCG on Grand Final Day, Melbourne’s rail network and the Crown casino during Grand Prix week….
In one conversation Ezzit Raad was recorded to have said it was a pity more people had not died in the 2005 London terrorist bombings.
He was found guilty of intentionally making funds available to a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation.
He was also convicted of being a member of a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation.
The other convicted men were:
Abdul Nacer Benbrika, 48, of Dallas
Also known as Abu Bakr, the Algerian-born Muslim cleric arrived in Australia in 1989. He married in 1992 and has seven children. He was said to be the spiritual leader of the group and they called him “Sheik”. He was found:
A cleric? Didn’t he realize he was twisting and hijacking the peaceful tenets of Islam?