Muslim cleric found guilty in Australias biggest terror trial

September 15th, 2008 - 1:28 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Sept.15 (ANI): A Muslim cleric has been found guilty of leading and being a member of a terrorist organization in Australia’’s biggest terror trial.
Jurors today found 48-year-old Abdul Nacer Benbrika was a member of a Melbourne terror cell and declared him guilty, even as he displayed no emotion on charges of intentionally directing the activities of a terrorist organization.
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 were the others declared guilty of being members of the terrorist organization, reports
The jury was unable to reach verdicts on charges against Shane Kent, 31, and Amer Haddara, 28.
After a Supreme Court trial that ran for 115 days, jurors took three weeks and five days to reach a verdict.
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 the views of over 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.
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. (ANI)

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