“The fact that they’d gone all the way from Melbourne, all the way to far north Queensland, indicates that these people were extremely committed in … their attempt to leave the country,” said AFP Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan. Well, then Gaughan, you caught them in the nick of time! And considering the fact that you aren’t going to keep them in prison for life, what exactly have you done by preventing them from leaving Australia? You’ve only increased the likelihood that they will wage jihad attacks there.
“Five men charged with counter-terrorism offences over alleged boat escape to join fighting in Syria,” by Sam Clark and Dan Oakes, ABC.net.au, May 14, 2016 (thanks to Hugh):
Five Melbourne men have been charged with counter-terrorism offences over an alleged plan to travel to Indonesia by boat and join the fighting in Syria.
Islamic preacher Musa Cerantonio, Shayden Thorne, Kadir Kaya and two others were charged with preparing to enter a foreign country on Tuesday to engage in hostile activities.
They face a maximum penalty of life in prison if found guilty.
The men, aged between 21 and 33 years old, were arrested after they allegedly towed a 7-metre fishing boat from Melbourne towards Cape York.
The group are due to face a Cairns court on Monday where prosecutors are expected to apply for their extradition to Melbourne.
Police would not disclose how long ago the men travelled from Melbourne to northern Australia but believed they were intending to travel through Indonesia and the Philippines to Syria.
AFP Deputy Commissioner Neil Gaughan on Tuesday said the men were “very committed” to leave the country after previously having their passports cancelled.
“The fact that they’d gone all the way from Melbourne, all the way to far north Queensland, indicates that these people were extremely committed in … their attempt to leave the country,” he said.
AFP allege the men purchased the boat in Melbourne before travelling to Queensland.
Police said they had been investigating the men “for weeks” and there was no domestic terrorism threat arising from the investigation.
In a statement, the AFP said there was “no current or impending threat of a terrorist act to the Australian community arising from this investigation”.
Cerantonio was born into an Italian family in Melbourne’s western suburbs, but converted to Islam at the age of 17….