Police found two Muslims guilty of planning a terror attack in Sydney. Both have denied the claims, saying they were not intending to kill anyone.
The two accepted that they were planning an attack but only to destroy property and not to harm lives. Omar Al-Kutobi, 25, and Mohammad Kiad, 26, lived in the same Fairfield flat. The NSW Supreme Court charged each of them with one count of conspiring and planning for a terrorist act or acts. The verdict came on Wednesday, which was six days ahead of their trial.
Al-Kutobi’s lawyer Greg Scragg asked Justice Peter Garling to schedule a hearing for his client as he refused to accept some of the claims. “On the hearing, it will be submitted that your honour will not be satisfied that the accused ever intended to use a knife or explosive device to bring about the loss of life and that his general plan was to destroy property,” Scragg said.
The two were arrested following a police raid on their flat on February 11, 2015. The officers recovered a machete, an ISIS flag and a hunting knife. The documents presented in the court revealed that the conspiracy against Sydney involved the use of a sharp weapon as well as a detonative explosive.
Al-Kutobi is an Iraqi migrant while Kiad is a student from Kuwait. It was claimed earlier that the two Muslims arrived in Australia from the Middle East to lead a better life. The former came to Australia in 2009 and was granted the national citizenship in 2013. However, they were radicalized in late 2014. Kiad was given a visa as per family and spousal arrangements in 2012 when he came to the country.
The Daily Telegraph reported that the terror attack was being planned to advance a “political, religious or ideological cause” that might also have endangered the lives of the innocent people, as stated in the court documents.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told The Today Show that it was in February 2015 when the two were granted refugee status.
The next court hearing has been scheduled on September 12.