Convicted terror leader Abdul Nacer Benbrika still a danger to Australians
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Affected Countries: australia;
A convicted terrorist who plotted to bomb sites in Melbourne and Sydney will find out before Christmas if he is too dangerous to be released.
Abdul Nacer Benbrika has spent the past 15-years behind bars after he was convicted for terrorism offences but the government wants him to stay in jail for another three years.
He plotted to bomb Crown Casino and the MCG on grand final day in a bid to coerce the Australian government to withdraw troops from Iraq.
After a two-week long hearing Justice Andrew Tinney said he hoped to hand down his decision before Christmas, on December 24 or sooner.
If not then it would be the first week of January, the judge said.
Lawyers for Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said the 60-year-old jailed terror leader remains an “unacceptable” risk of committing a further terror act if he’s released into the community.
Benbrika was at risk of committing or inciting further attacks in Australia, had met with 15 people who were foreign fighters and his extremist ideology had not changed and he could radicalise others, lawyer Rowena Orr QC argued.
The court has heard that two psychologists found Benbrika would pose a high risk to the community if he was released after his sentence and there was conflicting evidence about whether his views had changed.
Forensic psychologist Chelsey Dewson interviewed the terrorist this year and said it was “highly suspicious” he met 15 people who would go on to become foreign fighters while he was in jail.
One of the men who visited him was Khaled Sharrouf who was killed in Syria after going to fight for Islamic State.
She also said it was difficult to find Benbrika had been radicalised despite his claims he changed mind about violent jihad.
His lawyer Brian Walter QC said another expert disputed that it was possible to determine future risk for terrorist offending.
The expert, Dr Michael Davis, previously told the court that in his opinion it was not possible to assess the risk of the Benbrika carrying out a future terrorism offence unless he did something “blatant”.
The doctor also said it took “mental gymnastics” to understand the change in Benbrika’s ideology.
“He believes in jihad but not violent jihad and it takes mental gymnastics to get your head around it,” Dr Davis told the court.
Benbrika’s lawyer also explained his client would be under a “comprehensive” interim control order if released which would be a less restrictive way to ensure he was monitored and he could face deportation which would also limit his risk.
The terror leader’s citizenship was revoked by Mr Dutton in November.
Source: News AU