Australia terror trial opens
Thirteen men accused of plotting “catastropic” attack plead not guilty.
The remaining five suspects were arrested in Sydney, where they are awaiting trial.
|Police say a nuclear reactor in Sydney may
have been a target [Picture:GALLO/GETTY]
The raids on 23 houses netted chemicals, weapons, and computers, and came less than a week after Canberra changed its anti-terror laws to give police greater powers.
One suspect was shot and wounded during one of the Sydney raids.
Police have released few details of the alleged plot but say that some of the suspects had military-style training in Afghanistan, Pakistan and rural Australia, and had met Osama bin Laden.
It is unclear what maximum penalties the men face if convicted.
One of the suspects and the alleged spiritual leader of the group, Abdul Nacer Benbrika, also known as Abu Bakr, sparked controversy with a television interview last year in which he described bin Laden as “a great man”.
He pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges that he directed the group’s activities and possessed a CD related to the planning for a terrorist act.
Following the pleas the trial was adjourned until Thursday.