Police allege ‘tinnie terrorists’ were carrying items described in ISIS manual
Police allege they found among items taken from the so-called “tinnie terrorists” equipment listed in a guide telling potential recruits what to take on a journey to join ISIS.
Australian Federal Police agent Kris Urquhart told Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday items seized were consistent with equipment outlined in a 50-page manual downloaded from the internet.
He did not say how many of the six accused had these items.
The six accused men – Robert “Musa” Cerantonio, Paul Dacre, Shayden Thorne, Kadir Kaya, Murat Kaya and Antonio Granata – are fighting allegations they planned to sail from Cape York last year to join ISIS sympathisers, Abu Sayyaf, in the southern Philippines.
They are all charged with making preparations for incursions into foreign countries to engage in hostile activities and their committal hearing this week will decide whether they should face trial.
Mr Urquhart told the court some items seized from the six were consistent with those in the manual: “Hijrah to the Islamic State: what to pack up, who to contact, where to go, stories and more!”
The guide suggests items to take including clothing, bags and equipment to prepare for entry and travel to ISIS, the court was told.
At least one of the accused accessed a news article about ISIS beheading two sawmill workers in the Philippines after it accused them of spying, AFP digital surveillance expert Matthew Smith told the court on Thursday.
Mr Cerantonio, Mr Dacre, Mr Thorne, Mr Granata and Kadir Kaya were arrested near Cairns on May 10, 2016 en route to Cape York towing a seven-metre boat, after which the accused were dubbed in the media the “tinnie terrorists”.
Murat Kaya was arrested in Victoria during counter-terrorism raids days after his five co-accused were arrested in far north Queensland.
Mr Kaya is accused of helping the others buy a boat they were allegedly planning to use to leave Australia.
The court was this week told Mr Cerantonio was under surveillance by Philippine authorities for five months after being spotted at a shopping centre in Cebu in the central Philippines in 2014.
Police allege while under surveillance, a tweet sent under Mr Cerantonio’s name stated he was preparing for travel to the Middle East, followed up by another tweet saying he had arrived there.
But contrary to the tweet, he was spotted in the Philippines at that same time, an investigating police officer said.
After the tweets, Mr Cerantonio’s passport was cancelled by Australia’s Foreign Affairs minister and a warrant of deportation issued for his arrest and detention.
The court heard authorities later found a number of black and white flags in the Philippines flat he shared with his partner.
Philippine police also downloaded nine YouTube videos allegedly posted by Mr Cerantonio which they saved under the titles, Australian Islamist Musa Cerantonio Glorifies Jihad, Who are the real terrorists and Sheik Musa Cerantonio Talking about Khilafah, the Muslim Lands and the War on Islam by the West.
The hearing continues Friday.