Bilal Khazal was born in 1970 in Lebanon. He arrived to Australia in the late 80s’ and is married with two children. He lives in Lakemba, a suburb of Sydney, Australia. The Lakemba Mosque’s Imam Taj el-Din Hilaly was a controversial figure in Australia.
From 1988 up to 2000 Bilal Khazal worked as a baggage handler for Qantas, the AUSTRALIAN National airline. He left his job in 2000, suffering a reported back problem, and was given a payout.
Bilal Khazal had come to the attention of the Australian authorities after being stabbed in an apparent faction fight in Lakemba's Islamic community on 11/17/1994.
Bilal Khazal was trained in a military camp in Afghanistan in 1998, where he was a confidant of Al Qaeda's leader, Osama bin Laden, and his deputy, Ayman Al Zawahiri.
As a precaution measure Bilal Khazal was the subject of intelligence surveillance at the time of the Sydney Olympics in 2000. He was interviewed several times by the Australian security service - ASIO. Bilal Khazal was also, at the same time, in routine contact with Imad Yarks, the top Al Qaeda operative in Spain.
In Lakemba, where he lived, Bilal Khazal was involved in two organizations in which ASIO was taking an intense interest - the Islamic Youth Movement and the prayer centre in Haldon Street, Lakemba. He edited the Islamic Youth Movement magazine Nida'ul Islam (the Islam’s Struggle) and the movement website using the name Abu Muhamed Attawaheedi. Bilal Khazal, again, attracted the authority’s attention once he published an interview with Osama Bin Laden as well as other materials encouraging violence, terror and killings on behalf of Islam.
On 10/27/2003 the Australian police made public the arrested of Bilal Khazal and Faheem Khalid Lodhi in Sydney accused of plotting terrorist attacks on the national electricity grid and several defense installations. Bilal Khazal faced a charge of making documents likely to facilitate terrorist acts. He was released on bail in 06/2004.
Bilal Khazal, with his brother Maher Khazal, was also charged in late 2003, in absentia, in Lebanon by a military tribunal for belonging to the Pizza-Hut Network of 28 activists, including his associate Saleh Jamal, that planned to attack American targets in Beirut, donating money to an Islamic group which orchestrated a string of bomb attacks in Lebanon and for planting a bomb in Pizza-Hut in Beirut in 04/2003. The brothers Bilal and Maher Khazal were sentenced in Lebanon for 10 years in jail if they will be extradited to Lebanon from Australia.
Bilal Khazal’s trial began in Sydney in 06/2005. Today (11/2007) Bilal Khazal was not sentenced yet in Australia. He is freed on bail and fighting in court his possible extradition to Lebanon.
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