Tue, Jul 25, 2006 at 7:49:13 am
SUBURBAN Islamic cleric Abdul Nacer Benbrika wanted to kill 1000 Australians to “please Allah” and had the support of a blond recruit who had pledged violent jihad during a meeting with Osama bin Laden.
A Melbourne court heard yesterday that a witness would reveal that Shane Kent, 29, received weapons and explosives training at the Taliban-run al-Faruq training camp for foreign jihadis in Afghanistan.
And at a meeting with bin Laden in that country, Mr Kent, from Meadow Heights in Melbourne’s north, allegedly committed himself to violent jihad. The alleged Melbourne terror cell’s spiritual leader, Mr Benbrika embraced Mr Kent as part of his clique, the court heard, saying: “He’s good, and he doesn’t talk too much.”
Mr Benbrika encouraged his devotees to plan a large-scale terrorist attack, which police foiled during its “developmental stages”, the court heard during the opening day of the committal hearing of 13 suspects yesterday.
“If you kill, we kill here 1000,” Mr Benbrika allegedly said in a conversation covertly taped by police. “Because if you get large numbers here, the government will listen.”
The court was told that Mr Benbrika encouraged his adherents to follow in the footsteps of one of the masterminds of the 2002 Bali terrorist attack. He allegedly told two of them that when they were captured “they should do like Amrozi (bin Nurhasyim) and tell the judge, ‘You can kill me, but there will be others coming after”’.
The court heard yesterday that the accused group was making plans for a backyard explosives laboratory, had held secret training camps and was found with an armoury of weapons and bomb-making manuals. And some members of the alleged terror cell were anxious to carry out an attack. According to the police surveillance, Abdulla Merhi, 21, said he “could wait months but not years” to carry out violent jihad.
“You shouldn’t kill just one, two or three,” Mr Benbrika allegedly responded. “Do a big thing.”
“Like Madrid?” Mr Merhi allegedly asked, to which Mr Benbrika was said to have replied: “That’s it.” ...
A bomb-making manual called The Vortex Cookbook, and decrees setting out the rules of violent jihad, were allegedly uncovered at suspects’ homes during police raids before the arrest of the 13 men in November in the combined-agency counter-terrorism Operation Pendennis. Religious handbooks found allegedly included one entitled The Islamic Ruling with Regard to the Killing of Women, Children and the Elderly in a Situation of War, and another called The Virtues of Martyrdom in the Path of Allah.