Australia terror suspects convicted

Five men found guilty of plotting attacks in response to Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

    The men were arrested in 2005 raids on several houses across Sydney [GALLO/GETTY]

    The men, four of whom are of Lebanese descent and another of Bangladeshi origin, cannot be named as they face further charges.

    Four other men who had earlier pleaded guilty to taking part in the same plot were recently give jail sentences of up to 18 years and eight months.

    'Death and destruction'

    The five men cannot be named as they face further charges [GALLO/GETTY]
    During their trial prosecutor Richard Maidment told the New South Wales state Supreme Court that the five had obtained "step-by-step instructions on how to make bombs capable of causing large-scale death and destruction".

    He said the men wanted "violent jihad which involved the application of extreme force and violence, including the killing of those who did not share the fundamentalist ... extremist, beliefs".

    Maidment said instruction material seized from the men's homes included detailed plans on the manufacture of pipe bombs, using common ingredients such as citric acid and hair bleach.

    He said the five men had taken Australia's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as "acts of aggression against the wider Muslim community".

    Over the course of 10 months, the jury heard from 300 witnesses, examined 3,000 exhibits, watched 30 days of surveillance tapes and listened to 18 hours of phone intercepts.

    However prosecutors reportedly never told the court what the planned targets for the group's attacks were.

    The prosecutor said three men had gone on paramilitary-style camps in far western New South Wales to prepare for an attack.

    But the men's defence team said the group were just hunting, camping and having fun.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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