Illegal migrant terrorist Muslim cleric Abdul Nacer Benbrika gets 15-years



Melbourne: 13 Islamic terrorist suspects could get bail - most 'Lebanese-Australians',10117,21455719-29277,00.html?from=public_rss

13 terror accused could get bail

By Mariza O'Keefe

March 27, 2007 02:52pm

Melbourne - Australia

A JUDGE says 13 Melbourne men on terrorism charges may be eligible for bail if their conditions don't improve.

Victorian Supreme Court Justice Bernard Bongiorno gave the caution after being told several of the men became ill after they were transported from court in a vehicle without airconditioning or water in temperatures over 30C.

Greg Barns, lawyer for accused man Ezzit Raad, told the court the incident occurred at the end of a hearing about their conditions in custody last Thursday.

Justice Bongiorno said allegations over the men's treatment by prison officers were concerning.

"If these situations have occurred (and) are likely to occur again, exceptional circumstances necessary for granting of bail would be looming on the horizon," Justice Bongiorno said.

The 13 men, who have all been committed to stand trial on charges including being a member of a terrorist organisation, were not in court today.

The defendants last week applied for a stay on their case, arguing they were at risk of not receiving a fair trial and that they were being treated like hardcore criminals.

Concerns raised at last week's hearing include that the men were locked in their cells for 18 hours a day, were being denied quality time with their families and were forbidden from praying together.

The application was adjourned after lawyers for both sides agreed to review the conditions of the defendants.

The trial for the 13 men is due to be held in July.


Good excuse to get bail
Re: 13 terror accused could get bail - ...their cells for 18 hours a day,..


[FONT=arial,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]... Sayadi, Izzydeen Atic and Ezzit Raad[/SIZE][/FONT]

Islamic terror suspects terrified by heat

TEN of Melbourne's accused terrorists feared they would die during a sweltering van ride from court to Barwon Prison and want to press charges.

Corrections Victoria has launched an investigation into Thursday's two-hour trip as the shackled prisoners were taken from Melbourne to Lara in temperatures reaching 50C degrees inside the van. Accused terrorists Shane Kent, Ahmed Raad, Ezzit Raad, Majed Raad, Bassam Raad, Fadal Sayadi, Aimen Joud and Abdullah Merhi were among the men inside the van.

It's believed Mr Kent collapsed and Ezzit Raad was suffering badly from asthma as prisoners belted the doors and screamed they were dying.

Three other prisoners in another van included alleged spiritual leader Abdul Nacer Benbrika.

Corrections Victoria has confirmed the van's airconditioner malfunctioned somewhere along Geelong Rd.
Security procedures would not allow the van to stop and the men to be transferred to another van.
All of the accused men were given medical checks after returning to the jail.

Affidavits were taken from the men who have also alleged they were deliberately mistreated.
One prisoner told his wife they were told to "shut the f--- up" before being taken into the jail.
The incident coincided with court hearings about the men's strict conditions at Barwon Prison.

They have been lodged in maximum security cells in the prison's Acacia Unit since their arrests in November 2005.
Contact visits have been limited to their own children aged under 16, and only for one hour a month.

The men are confined to their cells for 18-hours a day and have not been allowed to pray together.
Their trial is due to begin in July and could last six months.

Ahmed Raad's wife, Maryann Dahman, said her husband believed his brother, Ezzit, was close to death as they waited outside the prison for clearance to go in.

"He saw his brother's eyes roll back in his head and his face change colour from white to yellow," Ms Dahman said. "They had no way of making contact with the guards."

Ms Dahman claimed the actions were deliberate because the men had complained about the jail conditions that day in court.

A Corrections Victoria spokeswoman said there was no formal investigation into the incident but it would look into why the airconditioning failed.

Tough prison rules relaxed for 13 Islamic terror suspects

THIRTEEN Melbourne terror suspects will be given greater freedom in prison after authorities agreed to revise the security classification that has kept them locked in their cells for 18 hours aday.

The concession from prison authorities prompted defence barristers - who had applied for a stay of proceedings on the basis that the suspects could not receive a fair trial - to suspend the stay application. Lawyers acting for 12 of the 13 defendants had argued that the conditions of the men's detention in the Acacia Unit of Victoria's maximum-security Barwon prison were "austere and restrictive" and would "challenge the psychological capability of even the most mentally able in the community".

The fact that the men sat behind secure screens in the dock, guarded by more than a dozen uniformed security guards, was an image prejudicial to a jury, the lawyers said.

Acting for Corrections Victoria, barrister David Neal SC told the court yesterday there was "some prospect" of revising the prisoners' security classification.

A "relaxation of the visits regime in Acacia" was also under consideration, Dr Neal said. The men, who are being held on remand, are currently allowed a one-hour non-contact visit with family each week. They are allowed a contact visit, with children only, once a month.

But prison authorities were not prepared to negotiate on the number of guards that stood around the dock or the necessity of placing the men behind the security screens, Dr Neal said.

Awaiting trial on terrorism charges are Abdul Nacer Benbrika, Aimen Joud, Ahmed Raad, Fadal Sayadi, Hany Taha, Izzydeen Atik, Shane Kent, Abdullah Merhi, Bassam Raad, Majed Raad, Shoue Hammoud, Amer Haddara and Ezzit Raad. They are all alleged to be members of a terror cell led by Mr Benbrika.

Several of the accused men are also alleged to have intentionally made funds available to a terrorist organisation and provided resources to a terrorist organisation.

Dr Neal revealed yesterday a plan to accommodate six of the defendants in Melbourne's new Metropolitan Remand Centre, during their trial.

Judge Bernard Bongiorno said yesterday he still held concerns about the fact that the men were allowed only six hours out of their cells every 24 hours - half the normal out-of-cell time for people being held on remand.

The judge said he was concerned about restricted visiting time and the difficulties in the men accessing legal material.
"The other matter I am concerned about is the number of prison officers in court," Justice Bongiorno said. "When there is a jury, that is a matter of concern."

However, Dr Neal defended Corrections Victoria's security classification of the men, which the court heard was partly based on newspaper reports.

The Sentence Management and Major Offenders units were involved in the classification, the court heard, and police and intelligence services were consulted.

A Supreme Court trial, expected to last six months, is due to begin in July.

The Melbourne Islamic terrorist suspects

Aiman Joud - Parents migrated from Lebanon

Hany Taha - "Australian-Lebanese" - From a large Lebanese migrant family.

Abdul Nacer Benbrika - Born: Algeria. - Arrived in Australia on May 16, 1989.

Shane Gregory Kent - Unemployed Muslim convert.

Amer Haddara - Son of Lebanese migrants.

Abdulla Merhi - Family came to Australia in 1977 from a small, poor Lebanese village.

Ahmed Raad - Born: Australia, of Lebanese parents.

Ezzit Raad - Born: Australia, of Lebanese parents.

Fadal Sayadi - Lebanese parents.

Terrorism suspects defy judge
Guilty verdicts in terror trial,23599,24347490-421,00.html?referrer=email

Convicted ... Abdul Benbrika has been found guilty of leading and being a member of a terrorist organisation in Australia's biggest terror trial.

Guilty verdicts in terror trial :rollpin:

September 15, 2008 12:36pm

Abdul Nacer Benbrika guilty of leading terror group
Five followers also guilty of belonging to group
Four men walk free; no verdict reached on two others

A MUSLIM cleric has been found guilty of leading and being a member of a terrorist organisation in Australia's biggest terror trial.

Jurors today found Abdul Nacer Benbrika, 48, was a member of a Melbourne terror cell.

Five of his followers were also found guilty.

Benbrika displayed no emotion as the jury delivered a guilty verdict on charges of intentionally directing the activities of a terrorist organisation and of being a member of a terrorist organisation.

Guilty of being a member of a terrorist organisation are Aimen Joud, 23, of Hoppers Crossing, Fadl Sayadi, 28, of Coburg, Abdullah Merhi, 22, of Fawkner, Ezzit Raad, 26, of Preston, and Ahmed Raad, 24, also of Fawkner.

Not guilty are Hany Taha, 33, of Hadfield, Bassam Raad, 26, of Brunswick, Majed Raad, 23, of Coburg, and Shoue Hammoud, 28, of Hadfield.

The jury was unable to reach verdicts on charges against Shane Kent, 31, of Meadow Heights and Amer Haddara, 28, of Yarraville.

After a Supreme Court trial that ran for 115 days, jurors took three weeks and five days to reach a verdict.

Phone intercepts

The 12 men, who were arrested in 2005, were accused of planning terrorist acts in Melbourne, involving the detonation of an explosive or use of weapons.

The trial heard from more than 50 witnesses and was played thousands of hours of listening device material and telephone intercepts.

The jury was told Benbrika, 48, of Dallas in Melbourne, had told his followers it was "permissible to kill women, children and the aged" and that the group needed to kill at least 1000 non-believers to make the Australian Government withdraw soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.

In April, prosecution witness Izzydeen Atik told the court Benbrika had told him of the targets in 2005.

"He said the AFL grand final was the original target," Atik told the court.


When the plan to target the crowd of close to 100,000 on grand final day had to be shelved, the terrorists allegedly spoke about planning to attack Crown Casino during the 2006 Australian Formula One Grand Prix and a pre-season AFL game.

Earlier this month Justice Bernard Bongiorno warned jurors Atik was a liar and fraudster whose evidence was unsafe.

"If you are considering Atik's evidence you must do so in the light of the cloud hanging over him," Justice Bongiorno said.

In his opening address in February, prosecutor Richard Maidment SC spoke of a group that was exclusively Muslim and male, set up in Melbourne to carry out a violent jihad.

Defence lawyers argued the men were not terrorists but young men learning about Islam from a self-styled sheikh who, "couldn't organise a booze-up in a brewery".

Benbrika's lawyer Remy Van de Wiel said his client was an unworldly man who thought it was possible to drive to Tasmania.

Mixed verdicts

The four men found not guilty made no comment as they walked free from court, flanked by their lawyers.

Altogether, the 12 men had faced a total of 27 counts.

Among a mixed bag of verdicts, the jury found Joud, Sayadi and Ahmed Raad guilty of intentionally providing resources to a terrorist organisation, knowing it was a terrorist organisation.

Ahmed Raad, Ezzit Raad and Joud were also found guilty of intentionally making funds available to a terrorist organisation.

Taha was found not guilty of that charge.

Joud and Benbrika were found guilty of possessing a CD connected with the preparation of terrorist act.

Joud was found guilty on two counts of that charge.

While found guilty of being a member of a terrorist organisation, Merhi was found not guilty of intentionally providing resources to a terrorist organisation.

Bassam Raad and Hammoud were found not guilty of making funds available to a terrorist organisation.
Re: Guilty verdicts in terror trial

Three strikes still not out for Abdul Benbrika

Keith Moor

September 16, 2008 12:00am

TERRORIST leader Abdul Benbrika was an illegal immigrant who was ordered out of Australia in 1990, 1994 and again in 1995.

But a last-ditch appeal against his deportation in 1995 resulted in Benbrika getting a visa that allowed him to stay.

Evidence has since emerged that Benbrika was already recruiting for his Melbourne terror cell when the Immigration Department granted him permanent residency.

"If any of the Immigration Review Tribunal decisions to deport Benbrika had been allowed to stand then Benbrika's home-grown terror cell might never have been formed," a police officer familiar with the case said.

Benbrika, 48, of Dallas, was convicted yesterday of leading a terrorist network that was planning to attack various Melbourne landmarks.

He was secretly taped saying he wanted to kill a thousand Australians.

"We'll damage buildings. Blast things. Thinking big not small," Benbrika said on tape.

The Algerian-born Benbrika arrived in Australia as a visitor on May 16, 1989, and was granted a temporary entry permit valid for one month.

He was employed as an aircraft electrical technician by Algerian Airlines prior to his arrival in Australia.

Benbrika's visitor visa was extended twice to allow a total period in Australia of six months.

He over-stayed and was officially declared an illegal immigrant on December 19, 1989.

Ten months later he was ordered out of Australia by the Immigration Review Tribunal on October 15, 1990.

Benbrika disappeared off the Immigration Department radar and stayed in Australia as an illegal immigrant.

A 1995 Immigration Review Tribunal document details Benbrika's illegal status.

"Upon the expiry of his temporary entry permit on November 16, 1989, he became a prohibited non-citizen," it said.

"On December 19, 1989, his designation changed to that of an illegal immigrant and on September 1, 1994, he became an unlawful non-citizen."

Benbrika married Lebanese-born Rakia Abdallah on August 7, 1992, when he was 32 and while he was an illegal immigrant.

She was 20 and had been an Australian citizen since June 1991 after arriving from Lebanon as a permanent resident in October 1988.

Three months after the wedding, using the fact he was married to an Australian citizen, Benbrika applied for a visa to stay in the country.

He did so under a category of entry permit created by the Government in October 1990, which allowed illegal immigrants to apply for a visa if they were in a relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

The relationship had to have been in existence in 1990 at the time the new category was created.

Benbrika's application was rejected by the Immigration Review Tribunal on May 10, 1994, after it found Benbrika and Rakia had not even met each other in 1990, let alone formed a relationship.

The tribunal again ordered Benbrika out of Australia in 1994. His wife appealed that decision and that appeal was rejected on April 26, 1995.

The tribunal's written decision in ordering Benbrika out of Australia for a third time in 1995 said: "The Minister is the only person who may grant a visa in circumstances where the relevant criteria are not met, although this power can only be exercised where it is in the public interest to do so."

A spokesman for the Immigration Department said he was unable to provide details of how Benbrika was able to remain in Australia after the third deportation order was made in April 1995.

"This man was granted a permanent visa in 1995, having satisfied the relevant criteria at the time," the spokesman said.

Benbrika has fathered seven children since marrying Rakia, has never worked and has received welfare payments during most of the 19 years he has lived in Australia.

In one of his appeals to be allowed to stay, Benbrika extolled the virtues of living in Australia.

He said he didn't want to go back to Algeria because of its economic difficulties and that he "loved the Australian lifestyle".,21985,24351825-2862,00.html
Terror accused Shane Kent has bail application adjourned,21985,24459897-5006922,00.html?referrer=email

Terror accused Shane Kent has bail application adjourned

Katie Bice

October 07, 2008

A MAN accused of being a member of a terror cell has had his bail application adjourned while the future of other charges against him are considered.

A Supreme Court jury failed to reach a verdict on whether Shane Kent, 31, was a member of a terror group led by Abdul Nacer Benbrika which plotted to bomb the MCG on Grand Final day.

Mark Dean, SC, asked for Kent's bail application, due to begin today, to be adjourned for a week while the Director of Public Prosecutions reviewed "whether of not the two video charges will proceed".

Mr Kent, of Meadow Heights, will face a retrial on the charge of being a member of a terror group but also faces two other counts of providing support to a terrorist organisation and making a document connected with the preparation for a terrorist act.

Those two charges related to work he allegedly contributed to an international internet video.

Mr Dean said the Director's decision could "change the landscape considerably" for Mr Kent's bail application.

Mr Kent's lawyer, John O'Sullivan, said his client was keen for the case to be heard as quickly as possible.

"Mr Kent has been in a state of fairly high anxiety," he said.

The court heard Mr Kent would argue his health and time already spent in custody amounted to the exceptional circumstances needed for a grant of bail. Police claim he is an unacceptable risk.

Justice Paul Coghlan addressed Mr Kent, saying it was in his best interests for the case to be adjourned for a week so the situation he faced was more clear.

"If I was in your position I would feel pretty much the way you feel ... don't feel people don't have sympathy from that point of view," he said.
Court told home-grown terror cell 'not sophisticated',21985,24674708-2862,00.html

Court told home-grown terror cell 'not sophisticated'

Norrie Ross

November 19, 2008

MELBOURNE'S first home-grown terror cell was at the lower end of the terrorist spectrum, a judge heard today.

Barrister Nola Karapangiotidis said the group led by "sheik" Abdul Nacer Benbrika was not like other terror cells abroad that obtained weapons and drew up elaborate plans for mass murder.

She said there was no justification for a sentence on her client, Fadl Sayadi, 28, of anything approaching the maximum of 25 years in jail.

Ms Karapangiotidis told Justice Bernard Bongiorno there were different levels of terrorism and, according to the prosecution, the seven convicted Muslim men talked about an act that might have been months or years in the future.

"No violence was ever used. No weapons. No targets. No premeditated plans," she told a Supreme Court pre-sentence hearing for the men.

Ms Karapangiotidis said the offences, committed in 2004 and 2005, had to be viewed in the historical context that at the time the men were plotting the Muslim community was under siege.

She said the group was not sophisticated and they were different from groups who had planned or carried out bombings on the London Underground.

Justice Bongiorno remarked: "Because they were inept does that lessen the criminal culpability?"

In September the seven men were convicted of a number of terrorist offences and the trial heard the potential targets of the group were the AFL Grand Final, Melbourne’s rail network and the Crown casino during Grand Prix week.

Sayadi, a forklift driver and concreter, of Coburg was alleged to have been the group's intelligence and security officer and a member of a three-man leadership committee.

It was alleged he told Benbrika to be careful of an undercover police officer attempting to infiltrate the group

He was found guilty of intentionally providing resources to a terrorist organisation knowing it was a terrorist organisation and being a member of a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation.
Terrorist Muslim cleric gets jail term


Abdul Nacer Benbrika

A Muslim cleric has been given a 15-year jail sentence in Australia for plotting to attack sporting events.

Abdul Nacer Benbrika and six others were found guilty in September of planning the attacks, which were never carried out.
Then-Prime Minister John Howard was also among the targets for "violent jihad", a court in Melbourne heard.

Judge Bernard Bongiorno ruled that Benbrika would not be eligible for parole for at least 12 years.

"The organisation fostered and encouraged its members to engage in violent jihad and to perform a terrorist act," Judge B
ongiorno told Victoria's Supreme Court.

The trial of Algerian-born Benbrika and his followers lasted more than six months.

Prosecutors had argued that the aim of the plot was to force the Australian government to pull its troops out of Iraq.
Terror cell, Abdul Nacer Benbrika sentences due

This is only one of the first 'Muslim' generation that arrived to Australia at the time when our lawmakers and Immigration were playing 'dominos with booze in Canberra.' Now the second generation is growing up to follow up their fathers to become famous with rapes and terrorism in Australia. Naturally third generation will be pushing hard to install 'Muslim PM' with Abdullah crown. Now tyhey will be all guests in Australian - TV/DVD jails, and served with special food acording to their sins.


Terror cell, Abdul Nacer Benbrika sentences due

Norrie Ross

February 03, 2009

UPDATE 2:38pm THE leader of a home-grown terror cell that wanted to blow up the MCG has been jailed along with his

Homegrown terror cell leader Abdul Nacer Benbrika has been jailed for a minimum of 12 years under Commonwealth legislation, with a maximum of 15 years, and Aimen has received seven-and-a-half years.

The five other men found guilty on terrorist charges last year received a range of minimum sentences.

The criminality of the terrorist cell would have been greater had a witness been more believable, a judge said before the sentences were handed down.

Justice Bernard Bongiorno told a packed Victorian Supreme Court that the seven men considered violent jihad an integral part of their religious obligations, often referring to themselves as mujahidin and talked about destroying buildings and killing infidels.

The group's aim was to pressure the Australian government to withdraw troops from Iraq, he said.

Their trial heard the men had planned terrorist acts in Melbourne, including blowing up the MCG on grand final day and the Crown Casino.

Justice Bongi
orno said evidence of a plot to blow up the MCG would not be taken into account because the man who gave it could not be believed.

He said Izzydeen Atik - who pleaded guilty to his terrorism-related charges - was a liar and a fraudster of significant accomplishment.

"It is unlikely the jury accepted him as a witness of truth and indeed the court will not," Justice Bongiorno said.

"Had Atik's evidence on the proposed targets been accepted, their criminality would have been significantly greater.

"It is not to say that their criminality is to be regarded as trivial."

"The group may have indeed only have been an embryonic terrorist organisation ... but the organisation fostered and encouraged its members to engage in violent jihad and to perform a terrorist act."

He said terrorist acts in modern times were carried out by unskilled fanatics like Benbrika.
Justice Bongiorno said Benbrika, a father of seven, had not renounced his beliefs.

"All the evidenc
e points to the conclusion that he maintains his position with respect to violent jihad," he said.

Justice Bongiorno said there was a need to protect society from criminals such as Benbrika.
The court heard Benbrika, a former aircraft engineer, migrated to Australia from Algeria in 1989.

Also jailed were Benbrika's followers: Aimen, 24, seven-and-a-half years; Fadl Sayadi, 28, six years; Ezzit Raad, 26, five-years-and-nine-months; Ahmed, 24, seven-and-a-half-years; Abdulla Merhi, 23, four-and-a-half years, and Amer Haddara, 29, four-and-a-half. (All sentences listed are the non-parole periods.)

He said terrorism was defined in legislation as the use of violence or the threat of violence to advance a political or ideological cause.

Justice Bongiorno said Benbrika was an admirer of Osama bin Laden, and possessed CDs showing unspeakable acts of cruelty against innocent victims by Muslim extremists.

He said Benbrika called non-Muslims the "Kuffar", a derogatory term.

Justice Bongiorno said an undercover operative, known as SIO39, went with Benbrika to a bush location, where a test explosion was carried out.

The fact that Benbrika showed nonchalance over the explosion and failed to take up an offer from SIO39 to procure explosives could have been a result of his knowledge he was probably under surveillance by authorities.

"Benbrika was cautious with SIO 39, this was in complete contrast to his dealings with members of his own group," Justice Bongiorno said.

The judge said in secretly recorded conversations Benbrika told another member of the group he wanted "to do something big".

According to Atik, who the judge said was a liar and social security cheat, targets were to include the Grand Final and possibly the Melbourne Grand Prix and the NAB cup. Justice Bongiorno said he was satisfied that much of the information provided by Atik about targets was false and self-serving and would not be used against members of the group.

The se
ven were members of a terrorist organisation which was encouraging and taking some steps to carry out an act but they had not obtained or chosen targets.

It did however, Justice Bongiorno said, gather Jihadi material and use material such as videos of beheadings to desensitise its members to the use of violence.

"Had knowledge of these targets been proved their criminality would be consequencially greater," the judge said.

But the absence of a target did not mean they should not face punishment.

Justice Bongiorno said the home-grown group saw themselves as brothers, bound together in the cause of violent jihad, and called themselves the Mujahidin.

"They saw violent jihad as an integral part of their religious commitment," Justice Bongiorno said.

In his Supreme Court sentence the judge said the group's spiritual leader, Abdul Nacer Benbrika, was a former Algerian aircraft engineer who came to Australia in 1989 because he felt there were problems in following his
hardline religious views in his own country.

Benbrika saw Australia as a land at war, and the judge said he was seen in the Muslim community as a learned man, but also as holding harsh religious views.

Benbrika was often in conflict with other Muslim organisations in Melbourne and was excluded from the Preston mosque.

The other members of the group came into contact with Benbrika, Justice Bongiorno said, through religious classes that were relatively benign.

The judge said the men were involved in a terrorist organisation between July 2004 and November 2008 when they were arrested in simultaneous raids across Melbourne.

The judge said the Criminal Code Act had covered a number of terrorism related offences.

The law was designed to deter terrorism and the use of violence to further political or religious aims and said other courts had found crimes of terrorism deserved punishment.

Benbrika, a father of seven, may have been less than expert as a terrorist
but that did not matter, the judge said.

He had enormous influence over his young followers and sought to instill a hatred of non Muslims, and Muslims who did not believe in his extremist views.

The judge said Benbrika's lawyer argued that his client showed little ability to direct anything and was not a leader in any real sense.

But the judge said the group may have been embryonic and Benbrika's leadership less than it would have been a trained solider or trained terrorist but that mattered little.

It was the existence of the group and its aims and Benbrika's encouragement for its members to take part in terrorist acts that formed the offences of which he had been convicted.

Justice Bongiorno said ineptitude did not excuse Benbrika's actions and overseas experience of terrorism showed that terrorists were often not highly skilled or able to carry out highly effective operations.

Rather, said the judge often the principal attribute of terrorists was being a

Justice Bongiorno said a psychiatrist had said in a report to the court that Benbrika was a fanatic who was still a believer in violent jihad and had said his group should adhere to their views, even in jail.

The most serious charge against Benbrika was directing a terrorist organisation, the judge said.

But it would be hard to direct an organisation without being a member of it and the sentences on these two charges should be concurrent. The court must impose a sentence that is just, Justice Bongiorno said, but took into account the need to deter others from engaging in similar conduct. .

The trial commenced in early February and the verdicts were handed down in September.

The judge said being a member of terrorist organisation carried the maximum penalty of 10 years and most of the other charges carried a maximum of 25 years.

"All of the evidence points to the conclusion that he (Benbrika) maintains his position with respect to violent jihad," the judg
e said.

Aimen was described as a devout Muslim and his criminality as being part of a terrorist organisation was the same as Benbrika's or slightly less.

According to the Crown, the judge said, Benbrika saw Aimen as his "heir apparent' and if the Sheik went to jail Benbrika said he should "keep things going"

Aimen undoubtedly took a leadership role and was instrumental in raising money for the group from rebirthing stolen cars.

But the judge said he could not find beyond reasonable doubt that the proceeds from the stolen car racket would have been used to buy weapons.

However the money in the group's "sandooq" was to be used to further its terrorist aims.

"There is no evidence before the court he has abandoned violent jihad," the judge said.

According to reports before the court he was still a committed terrorist and this had to be taken into account when considering protection of the public and the prospects of rehabilitation.

Sayadi, accordi
ng to his counsel, played a lesser role than others, but Justice Bongiorno said the evidence showed he played a number of roles in the group.

The judge said Sayadi provided materials to the group including materials praising the terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in new York. He also acted in a security role.

A consultant forensic psychologist said Sayadi did not accept he had been a member of a terrorist organisation and was suffering from depression.

He continued to protest his innocence but there was no evidence he had changed his jihadi views.
Abdullah Merhi, was one of 10 children of Lebanese immigrants and was a father of one. He played fotball for the Fitzroy Lions.

His wife gave a testimonial to the court which spoke of his qualities as a husband and a father, the judge said.

In letters to prison authorites Merhi said he was opposed to violence and opposed to the killing of innocent people, but the judge said they were self
-serving and little weight could be given to them.

They did not show his state of mind at the time he committed the offences, and it was an element of the crime that the member of a terrorist organisation knows its aims.

Justice Bongiorno rejected a defence contention Merhi had rejected extremist views and moved away from Benbrika's adherence to violent jihad.

Their marathon six-month trial heard that potential targets included the 2005 AFL Grand Final at the MCG, railways stations and other public places where they knew large numbers of innocent people would gather.

Four other men who faced trial were acquitted and one faces a retrial.

In a secretly recorded conversation between the group’s spiritual leader Benbrika and one of his followers, Abdullah Merhi, Benbrika said they were not talking about "one or two or three" deaths.

Merhi asked Benbrika "like Spain?"

Prosecutor Richard Maidment SC told the jury this was a reference to the terrorist attack
s on Spanish trains in 2004 where 191 people were killed and 2000 were injured.

In another conversation Merhi asked Benbrika if killing their innocent victims would be pleasing to Allah.

"You are pleasing the Almighty," Benbrika replied.

Benbrika gave them permission to kill women, children and the elderly in pursuit of violent jihad.

In the tape played to the court Merhi said:"If John Howard kills innocents... Muslim families... do we have to kill him?".

Mr Benbrika says that he can only tell him what Allah says.

The sentences handed down were:

Abdul Nacer Benbrika, 48, of Dallas:

Guilty of intentionally being a member of a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation

Guilty of intentionally directing the activities of a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organization.

Guilty of possessing a CD connected with the preparation of a terrorist act

Jailed for a minimum of 12 years,
maximum 15

Aimen 23, of Hoppers Crossing:

Guilty of intentionally providing resources to a terrorist organisation knowing it was a terrorist organisation

Guilty of intentionally making funds available to a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation

Guilty of being a member of a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organization.

Guilty of two counts of possessing a CD connected with the preparation of a terrorist act

Jailed for a minimum seven-and-a-half years, maximum 10

Fadl Sayadi 28, of Coburg:

Guilty of intentionally providing resources to a terrorist organisation knowing it was a terrorist organisation

Guilty of being a member of a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation

Jailed for a minimum of six years, maximum eight

Ezzit Raad 26, of Preston:

Guilty of intentionally making funds available to a terrorist organisation
, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation

Guilty of being a member of a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation

Jailed for a minimum of five-years-nine-months, maximum seven-and-a-half years

Ahmad 25, of Fawkner:

Guilty of intentionally providing resources to a terrorist organisation knowing it was a terrorist organisation

Guilty of intentionally making funds available to a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation

Guilty of being a member of a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation

Jailed for a minimum of seven-and-a-half-years, maximum of 10 years

Abdullah Merhi, 23, of of Fawkner:

Guilty of being a member of a terrorist organisation, knowing that it was a terrorist organisation

Jailed for a minimum of four-and-a-half years, maximum of six

Amer Haddara, 29, of Yarraville:

Guilty of one count of intentionally being
a member of a terrorist organisation, knowing it was a terrorist organisation.

Haddara was acquitted of a second charge of possessing a thing, namely a computer, connected with the preparation of a terrorist attack.

Jailed for a minimum of four-and-a-half years, maximum of six
When countries allow creatures such as muslems and niggers into their country. Disaster can strike at anytime. These to groups thrive on destruction, in fact they enjoy it. Then will this insanity stop. Get your laws rewritten to stop immigration!:mad:
June 18, 2009

The Waning Power Of Truth
By Paul Craig Roberts

David Ray Griffin, the nemesis of the collection of disinformation known as the 9/11 Commission Report, has taken up the question of Osama Bin Laden, Dead or Alive?

On the basis of the available evidence, Griffin concludes that bin Laden died in December 2001, most likely of kidney failure. He has been kept alive in the media by US government PSYOPS as a useful bogyman to justify America’s illegal wars of aggression. The messages received from bin Laden since his death appear to be conveniently timed fabrications designed to advance US government purposes.

Osama bin Laden is likely to become a mythical person, like the Georgia Tech student, George P. Burdell, who will be sighted from time to time over a period that exceeds the length of a human life.

It was less than one year ago that Americans were subjected to PSYOPS disinformation from their government concerning the Russia-Georgia conflict over South Ossetia.

Soviet ruler Joseph Stalin incorporated South Ossetia, formerly a part of Russia, into his home province of Georgia. When the Soviet Union broke up, Georgia became independent and retained South Ossetia. Secession movements arose in South Ossetia and in Abkhazia. These secession movements were the reason European members of NATO rejected the US government’s attempt to make Georgia a NATO member in order to extend the US/NATO military presence on Russia’s borders in contravention of previous US government agreements with Russia.

To terminate the secession movement and, thereby, remove the barrier to Georgia becoming a NATO member, the US, with Israel’s help, trained and equipped the Georgian military and gave the American puppet ruler, installed in the aftermath of one of the US-orchestrated “color revolutionsâ┚¬ , th
e green light to attack South Ossetia.

Under mutual agreement, Russia and Georgia both provided peace-keeping troops in South Ossetia to prevent violence by secessionists. On the night of August 7-8, 2008, Georgian troops attacked South Ossetia, destroying a town and killing many Russian Ossetians and some Russian soldiers who were part of the peace-keeping force. Large numbers of South Ossetians fled across the border to Russia.

The US government, in its hubris, assumed that Russia would accept the ethnic cleansing of Russians from South Ossetia. Instead, Russian troops arrived and quickly destroyed the American-trained and equipped Georgian army and could easily have taken control of Georgia, but refrained.

Defeated in its aim, the US government unleashed a PSYOPS disinformation war against the Russian government, claiming falsely that Russia had initiated the conflict by attacking Georgia. The US government’s blatant and transparent lies were force-fed to the American public by the
US media.

British disinformation services cooperated with their American masters, but the rest of the world blew the whistle. The real facts emerged, and an American disinformation campaign experienced a rare failure.

Now ten months later, US "black ops" is at it again, pumping out disinformation about the "stolen" Iranian election. The US media is again serving the government’s disinformation campaign. This despite the fact that on May 23, 2007, Brian Ross and Richard Esposito reported on ABC News: "The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell...ABC News."

On May 27, 2007, the London Telegraph independently reported: "Mr. Bush has signed an official document endorsing CIA plans for a propaganda and disinformation campaign intended to destabilize, and eventually topple, the theocratic rule of the mullahs."

A few days previously, the Tele
graph reported on May 16, 2007, that Bush administration neocon warmonger John Bolton told the Telegraph that a US military attack on Iran would "be a ”�’last option’ after economic sanctions and attempts to foment a popular revolution had failed."

On June 29, 2008, Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker: "Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership."

The Iranian election protests, essentially by the westernized youth of Tehran who wish to be free of Islamic moral codes, have the hallmarks of orchestration. The protesters are color-coded with green wristbands. Their protest signs are in English and are obviously directed
at the western media. Their chants are propagandistic and bear no relation to facts known by every Iranian.

And again, the US media and various experts, whose ambitions depend on government-related careers, are force-feeding the American public the disinformation designed to further isolate and weaken, if not overthrow, the Iranian government.

Until 1978 the US ruled Iran through the Shah. The US intends to again rule Iran through puppets. The only two remaining independent governments in the region are Iran and Syria. If the US doesn’t first bankrupt itself, both countries will fall to US black ops destabilization.

The limitless gullibility of the American people guarantees carte blanche to the US government’s schemes. Americans seemingly cannot put two and two together. They have already forgotten the lies about weapons of mass destruction that have resulted in the destruction of Iraq. They have forgotten Secretary of State Colin Powell’s publicly expressed remorse at the lies he
told the UN. Americans blithely accept the conflation of Taliban with al Qaeda and terrorists and the new war that the Obama regime has started in Pakistan, a war that has already produced 2 million refugees.

It can fairly be said that there is not much difference between the American public and the fictional one under Big Brother in George Orwell’s 1984. The few independent voices that do exist are simply drowned out by the constant flow of disinformation.

The US government’s success in spinning 9/11 guaranteed the government’s success in pursuing a hegemonic agenda under a cloak of lies. Although a large percentage of the US population does not believe the government’s account and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of experts and informed and well-connected people have challenged the government’s tale, the US media has shown no interest despite the official account of 9/11 bearing every known hallmark of a coverup.

High-ranking fire marshals have complained that legally required f
orensic procedures were not followed by authorities entrusted with investigation.

The testimony of more than 100 policemen, firemen, and maintenance personnel who were in the towers at the time and report hearing and experiencing a series of explosions was ignored and withheld from the public until the government got its story in place.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology studiously avoided testing for evidence of explosives. The severed steel beams were quickly collected and sold abroad as scrap.

As a number of observers have complained, the crime scene was destroyed, not investigated.

The government’s story of the destruction of the towers is based on computer simulations that produce results in keeping with the assumptions.

The collapse of the third building is not even mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report.

No one abroad believes the US government’s story. Europeans have produced documentary films that laugh at the official explanation.

Recently, an international team of scientists reported on their two year examination of dust samples from the debris. They report that they found nano-thermite in the samples. To my knowledge no mainstream US media reported the finding.

One would think that such a finding would lead to a real investigation. Instead, within the US the finding is dismissed by debunkers of "conspiracy theories" (except of course the government’s own conspiracy theory) with the charge that the dust samples have not been in controlled environments since collected and could have been contaminated by those who volunteered the samples. In other words, the nano-thermite, if actually in the samples, was planted.

One wonders how residents of lower Manhattan obtained nano-thermite with which to contaminate the dust. Indeed, who has access to nano-thermite other than government?

Why doesn’t the National Academy of Science choose a team to examine the samples? If the finding of nano-thermite is verified, the issu
e of contamination can be investigated. If it turns out that the people who volunteered the samples have no possible access to nano-thermite, the case for a real investigation is established.

There is little prospect of such a development in the US. American science and the careers of scientists are heavily dependent on US government funding. It would be a career-ending event for American scientists to get involved with this matter other than as a contributor to a cover-up. Professor Steven Jones, a physicist at BYU who first raised the issue of explosives being used to bring down the three WTC buildings, was terminated, despite his tenure, by BYU. Many believe Jones was terminated because of political threats to the university’s funding.

In the US truth is an ineffective means by which to hold government accountable. Consider, for example, the fate of whistleblowers. Daniel Ellsberg who leaked the Pentagon Papers was perhaps the last successful whistleblower and that was three decades ago. Si
nce then the government has put in place many defenses against whistleblowers.

The American public has looked to government for its salvation since Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. Government provides education, health care (Medicare, Medicaid), pensions (Social Security), food stamps, housing subsidies, child care and protects Americans from a long list of demonized villains ranging from spouse abusers and child molesters to terrorists. Americans see themselves and their government as the salt of the earth, an image supported by American generosity to other peoples who suffer natural calamities. Most Americans believe that their government does stupid things, but not evil things except perhaps by accident.

The right-wing believes that America was attacked on 9/11 because we are so good, hubris to which Bush successfully played with his statement that "they hate us for our freedom and democracy."

The left-wing finds emotional satisfaction in its belief that 9/11 was deserved blow-b
ack from peoples oppressed by US foreign policy who rose up and struck back.

Truth is so impotent in America that the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty 42 years ago is still covered up by the US government despite the best efforts of Admiral Tom Moorer, who was Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and by decades of effort by the Liberty survivors.

This raises the question: Why do some people blow whistles? Why do those few write books and columns that challenge the lies and deceptions? There is probably more than one answer. For some, hope springs eternal. Others naively destroy their careers thinking that truth will be honored. Still others speak from a sense of responsibility to truth and not from a hope that anything will actually change.

In October 1987 John Stockwell, a former CIA cover operative who ran the CIA’s covert war in Angola, gave a lecture in which he said he abandoned his career when he realized that CIA covert operations resulted in t
he deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people and were totally unconnected to any US national security interests. "I concluded that I just couldn’t see the point."

Nothing has changed. What was the point of the US invasion of Iraq? Even President Bush eventually conceded that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

What was the point of the US invasion of Afghanistan and what is the point of Obama’s escalation of the war there? The Taliban is not al Qaeda and was totally focused on unifying Afghanistan under an Islamic government. The US was not on the Taliban’s radar screen.

What is the point of the war that the US has started in Pakistan?

What is the point of the destabilization of the Iranian government? After the stolen elections of the Karl Rove/Bush era, why does the US think it must overthrow the Iranian government because of allegations that Ahmadinejad stole an election?

If the answer is that these wars and interventions serve the interest of U
S hegemony, the obvious reply is that US hegemony is more likely to be lost from the massive red ink in the government’s budget that is likely to be monetized, thus destroying the dollar as reserve currency, the main source of US hegemony.

If the US wants to have an empire in the Middle East or elsewhere, the government should come out and say so. At least then Americans could revel in the glories of empire. As it is, the pleasure must be gained surreptitiously under the table, pretending that we are protecting the world from evil-doers while we do evil ourselves.

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French Presi
dent Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct