Friday, February 06, 2009

Terror Cell Leader Abdul Nacer Benbrika Sentenced to 12 years, Benbrika Ran a Stolen Car Racket "Rebirthing Stolen Cars" to buy weapons and explosives

Article from: HERALD SUN.... THE leader of a home-grown terror cell that wanted to blow up the MCG has been jailed along with his followers. 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 Bongiorno 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 evidence 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.
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".

The seven 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.

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.

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.

See my prior post, Wednesday, January 14, 2009, A Muslim 'Mafia' ? Tampa Muslim Mafia Runs Stolen Cars to Dubai, Smuggled and Stolen Cigarettes Coming in From North Carolina, P.I. Bill Warner

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 attacks 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.

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.

Bill Warner
private investigator
WBI Private Detective Agency
Sarastoa Fl