How can cruel Australia send two fine upstanding Allah-loving Muslims to prison?
They’ve apologized. They say they are no longer plotting revenge upon the West. Miraculously, they no longer have hate in their hearts. With Allah, all things are possible. Right?
Can’t we all just get along?
Two men who planned to detonate a bomb and kill a random member of the public with a knife in Sydney have both been sentenced to a minimum of 15 years’ in jail.
Omar Al-Kutobi, 25, and Mohammad Kiad, 27, each pleaded guilty to one count of acting in preparation for a terrorist act, after they were arrested during counter-terrorism raids in February 2015.
In the NSW Supreme Court at Parramatta today, Justice Peter Garling sentenced them each to 20 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 15 years.
When Al-Kutobi and Kiad were arrested at their granny flat in Fairfield in 2015, police found a hunting knife, a glass jar containing a homemade form of napalm and an homemade ISIS flag.
Police also found a video of Al-Kutobi posing in front of an ISIS flag with a knife, which was filmed by Kiad, and a sign which read “we are the soldiers of the Islamic State […] we are here to cut your heads”.
Police said they believed the pair were plotting an imminent attack, and it was an extremely close call for the public.
Al-Kutobi, born in Iraq in 1991, arrived in Australia in May 2009 and acquired an Australian citizenship in 2013.
He suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and had a significant addiction to cannabis, Justice Garling said.
The 25-year-old said he had become radicalised when he began researching the events in Iraq and Syria on the internet.
In a letter written as evidence to the court, Al-Kutobi expressed remorse and said he no longer identified with radical Islam.
“I express my apology and sorriness to you and the government of Australia and the Australian community,” Al-Kutobi wrote in the letter.
“I hope to have a second chance to prove [myself] to the Australian community.”
“I do regret everything that I have done.”
Justice Garling expressed deep concern for the planned attack, saying it would have been “valuable propaganda for Islamic State had the attack gone ahead”.
Kiad, born in 1989 in Kuwait, came to Australia in January 2012 with his wife.
He had previously studied nursing and volunteered for the Red Cross.
Justice Garling said Kiad became “depressed, isolated and vulnerable” after struggling to fit in upon arrival in Australia.
It’s believed neither offender was raised to view extremist ideologies.
In the period of February to November 2014, it’s believed the process of radicalisation commenced for both offenders.
Both Kiad and Al-Kutobi heavily referenced Islamic state on their social media profiles, with Al-Kutobi changing his Whatsapp and Facebook profile names to reference IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
In December 2014, Al-Kutobi told a work colleague who visited him at his Fairfield home that “if I could join ISIS I would”.
In a separate situation with a another work colleague where he was discussing the Lindt café siege in Sydney, Al-Kutobi had defended the activities of IS and said he supported them.
Adam Houda, lawyer appearing for terrorism suspects Mohammad Kiad and Omar Al-Kutobi, departs Central Local Court in Sydney, Monday, March 16, 2015. (AAP)
During the period of the end of 2014 to the beginning of 2015, the offenders agreed to each other that they were both supporters of Islamic State, Justice Garling said.
Kiab and Al-Kutobi had intentions to travel to Syria in early 2015, but did not end up following through with their plans.
On January 25, 2015, after failing to travel overseas, Al-Kutobi googled “preparing for jihad”, reflecting his intention at the time.
Days later, on January 29, Kiad purchased black fabric, materials for cutting out a stencil and paint.
On February 8, 2015, Kiab and Al-Kutobi planned to attack a Shiite Muslim prayer hall in Guildford in Sydney’s west with explosive material but were put off when they saw a man walking out of the hall.
They were then chased by police, but managed to escape.
Two days later, police stormed the Fairfield residence and arrested Kiad and Al-Kutobi, and recovered various items including a machete, measuring 45 centimetres long, which was found concealed inside the lining of a couch in the bedroom.
A hunting knife, which was measured at 15 to 18 centimetres long with one smooth edge and one serrated edge, was also recovered by police.
Police also retrieved a flag bearing the words “there is no God but God” and “Mohammed is the messenger” which was created following step by step instructions from the internet.
Sim cards, USB sticks and laptops were also removed from the residence.
Material found on the laptops included images of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, IS convoys and beheadings.
A video of Al-Kutobi making threats in the name of God while wielding a knife, was also retrieved and used as evidence in court.
Days before he was arrested, Al-Kutobi wrote a note in his phone which read “we can hit at any time we want and we will not let them live in peace before we can live in peace in the land of Muslims.”
Kiab and Al-Kutobi were arrested during the afternoon of February 10, 2015 and pleaded not guilty to conspiring to plan a terrorist attack.
Earlier this year, both offenders pleaded guilty to the indictment.
The maximum penalty for the crimes committed by Kiad and Al-Kutobi was life in prison.
In his sentencing Justice Garling said radicalised views “cannot be tolerated” and “have no place in Australian society”.
It’s foolish to think that “bad” Muslims can be separated out from “good” Muslims. The Australian government must either shift position or be voted out of office the same way that Democrats were voted out in the United States.
Both sand monkeys will be leaving prison at an early enough age that it’s possible that they will hatch another plot.
Beware of repentant Muslims whose repentance is intended to get them a reduced sentence.