Extremists jailed for 'evil' terror plot
December 16, 2011 - 7:09PM
They are Islamic extremists who see the people of Australia as infidels and planned to become martyrs by shooting up a Sydney army base.
Wissam Mahmoud Fattal, 35, Saney Edow Aweys, 28, and Nayef El Sayed, 27, planned to kill as many people as possible in a mass shooting at Holsworthy Army base to advance the cause of Islam.
It was their way of repaying Australia - the country that had welcomed and nurtured them and their families.
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On Friday, the three would-be terrorists remained defiant as Victorian Supreme Court Justice Betty King sentenced them to 18 years in prison.
Lebanese-born Fattal, 35, was ejected from the court just as Justice King began her sentencing remarks.
He stood up and began ranting, "Why don't stop this corruption" and also spoke of Palestine and Afghanistan.
El Sayed, who was born in Australia to Lebanese parents, left his remarks to the end.
As he passed the judge's chair, he said, "Allah gives us justice, not these courts."
They were in no mood to take Justice King's advice and be remorseful for what they had done.
"The fact that Australia welcomed all of you and nurtured you and your families is something that should cause you all to hang your heads in shame that this was the way you planned to show your thanks for that support," she said.
"Your plans were evil. Your intentions, your plan were deadly serious. You intended to plan a random shooting of anyone you found on that army base, be it army personnel, civilian, male or female."
Justice King said it would have been a totally horrific event if their planning had ever come to pass.
She said all three showed no remorse and had not renounced their extremist beliefs.
Fattal was especially rigid in his beliefs, she said.
"The views you have adopted are clearly extremist views in terms of the interpretation of the Koran, including that all persons who are not Muslims and those persons who are Muslims but not practising faithfully, according to you, are people who are infidels," she said.
"You are an intolerant Muslim in that you believe everything has to be done in your way and no other."
During a three-month trial in 2010, the court heard the men wanted to advance Islam, which they believed was under attack from the West, including Australia.
Most of the prosecution case relied on transcripts of secretly recorded telephone conversations.
They picked up strong anti-Australian views, with Somalian-born Aweys even celebrating the death toll in the Black Saturday bushfires.
"These filthy people are coming down, the economy goes first, factories are shutting down, fire is coming and there is no water," he was recorded saying in March 2009.
Fattal was caught on security footage walking around the boundary of the Holsworthy barracks and spoke of winning paradise if he killed Australian soldiers.
"If I find way to kill the army, I swear to Allah the great I'm going to do it," Fattal told an undercover police officer.
The men were arrested in pre-dawn raids across Melbourne in August 2009.
Two other Melbourne men - Yacqub Khayre, 23, of Meadow Heights, and Abdirahman Mohamud Ahmed, 26, of Preston - were cleared by a jury over their alleged roles in the terror plot.
As the sentences were delivered on Friday, family members wailed in shock, including one woman who screamed, "Oh my God!" and covered her mouth.
Fattal, of Melbourne, Aweys, of Carlton, and El Sayed, of Glenroy, were all found guilty of conspiring to prepare for or plan a terrorist act between February and August 2009.
They were ordered to serve a non-parole period of 13 and a half years.