Australian police announced, on Tuesday 08/04/2009, they have arrested four men, from Lebanese and Somali descent, in Glenroy district of Melbourne suspected of planning a “suicide terrorist attack”, in one of the biggest counter-terrorism operations in the country. The group had been under investigation since 01/2009.
Police believe “the men were planning to carry out suicide terrorist attack on a defence establishment within Australia involving an armed assault with automatic weapons” on Holsworthy Army Base in Sydney, Tony Negus, the Australian federal police acting commissioner, said. “This operation has disrupted an alleged terrorist attack that could have claimed many lives,” he said. Tony Negus added that the men intended to “kill as many soldiers as they could before they themselves were killed” (see also – Melbourne Cell).
Police also linked the Somali group to al-Shabab. Police say suspected members of the Melbourne-based group had travelled to Somalia “to participate in hostilities there” and actively seek a fatwa or religious ruling from there “to justify the group’s plan to conduct a terrorist act in Australia”.
More than 400 police officers were involved in the early morning raid on 19 properties across Melbourne on Tuesday.The men, Australian citizens ranging in age from 22 to 26, were to appear in court later on Tuesday and police said several other men were being questioned.
One of the suspects Nayaf el-Sayed, 25, was charge already on Tuesday 08/04/2009, of “conspiring to commit an act in preparation or planning a terrorist act”. Nayaf el-Sayed did not enter a plea or apply for bail, and refused to stand for the magistrate in court.
Other three suspects Saney Edow Aweys, from Somali descent, Yacqub Khayre and Abdirahman Mohamud Ahmed , were charged with the same charges, on Wednesday 08/05/2009.
The case clearly indicates the growing role of al-Shabab as an International network with recruiting cells in USA and Europe and with the potential to replace the FATA region of Pakistan as the safe haven for international Islamic Global Jihad.
* One of the suspects, Hussein Hashi Hemed Farah, fled Australia and was detained, on 03/22/2010, in Western Kenya. He managed to escape after few hours, once again, probably to Uganda (see – Suspect 03.22.10).
* In an appeal hearing in the Victorian Supreme Court, on Wednesday 09/15/2010, prosecution said Yacqub Khayre is alleged to have travelled to Somalia on 04/13/2009 to gain a fatwa, returned in 07/2009 saying he had been given a “100 per cent go-ahead” by “the sheik that runs the place, the biggest sheik there”.
In an intercepted telephone conversation, from Nairobi on 07/07/2009, Yacqub Khayre also told a man by the name of El Mahmoud: “It’s the fatwa; everything is all right”, before asking, “Hey, is your phone all right?” Mr El Mahmoud replied, “Nah, better not to, man”.
But Yacqub Khayre was not believed. In an intercepted call between two other members of the alleged terror cell, Saney Aweys and Abdirahmin Mohamud Ahmed. Saney Aweys said he believed Yacqub Khayre had told “a lot of lie”.
* A fifth suspect Wissam Mahmoud Fattal, 33, from Lebanese descent was also arrested as a suspect in the case shortly afterward and charged with “conspiring to commit an act in preparation or planning a terrorist act”.
* Three suspects, Wissam Mahmoud Fattal, from Lebanese origin, Saney Edow Aweys and Nayaf el-Sayed, both from Somali descent, were convicted, on Thursday 12/23/2010, for conspiring to plot a “terrorist” attack (see – Melbourne-Comviction ). .
* Related topics –
2009 – U.S MINNEAPOLIS NETWORK
07/2009 -2 FRENCH ADVISERS ABDUCTED IN SOMALIA
02/2009 -SOMALI RADICALS ‘IMPORT TERROR TO U.K’
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