Why doesn’t the Vast Majority of Peaceful Muslims who go to those Islamic centers rise up and rebuke Thorne for being a misunderstander of Islam? “Perth man Junaid Thorne deported from Saudi Arabia promotes jihad,” by Aleisha Orr for WA Today, January 7:
A Perth man who was deported from Saudi Arabia last year when his brother was accused of terrorism offences has reportedly been delivering lectures encouraging jihadists.
Junaid Thorne, 24 criticised the federal government for not doing enough to help him and his brother get out of the country when his brother Shayden was arrested.
He went into hiding in Saudia Arabia in fear of also being arrested before handing himself in to authorities and being sent home to Australia.
Shayden, 25, has been in custody since November 2011.
In May last year Shayden was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail for extremist material that was found on a laptop in his possession, but maintained his innocence, saying he had borrowed the computer from a masjid, or mosque, in which he was staying.
The Australian newspaper reported that Mr Thorne, now based in Australia, and known as a ‘Sheik’ has been delivering lecturers backed by the radical group Millatu Ibrahim, where he told followers to donate money towards jihadists.
The newspaper reported that the lectures were held at Islamic centres in Melbourne and Sydney.
Curtin University researcher Anne Aly said it was likely that Mr Thorne’s status within the organisation increased upon his return from Saudi Arabia.
“It’s not like Catholocism [sic] where you have authority once working your way up, authority is given to you by the people who follow you,” she said.
Dr Aly said Millatu Ibrahim has had a presence in Perth for at least a decade.
She described the group as extremist, saying they were against democracy and against working with non-muslims.
“It’s about fighting jihad in places like Syria, where jihad has been declared,” Dr Aly said.
She said while the group did not appear to call for violence within Australia, the group appeared to have a similar ideaology [sic] to Al Qaeda, which was concerning.
Attempts to make contact with Mr Thorne via his local Islamic Centre have been unsuccessful.