Omar Al-Kutobi and Mohammad Kiad pleaded guilty to one count of acting in preparation for a terrorist act in 2015
Photo: Sydney man Omar Al-Kutobi was arrested along with Mohammad Kiad in counter-terrorism raids in February 2015. Photograph: NSW Supreme Court/PR IMAGE
Australian Associated Press
Friday 9 December 2016 02.09 GMT
Last modified on Friday 9 December 2016 02.43 GMT
Two men who planned to bomb a Sydney Shia prayer hall and vowed to stab people in the kidneys to impress an Islamic State recruiter have been jailed for at least 15 years.
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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 in Sydney’s west on Friday, Justice Peter Garling sentenced them to 20 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 15 years.
The pair were arrested during a raid of their western Sydney flat by counter-terrorism police in February 2015, with officers finding a hunting knife, a machete and a homemade Islamic State flag.
Garling said neither of the offenders had been raised to follow an extreme version of Islam. But by the end of 2014 both “had been drawn to and had embraced the ideology of the Islamic State and extremist Islamic views”.
He said the prosecution had alleged that the conspiracy between the two amounted to detonating an improvised explosive device to damage or destroy a building, and/or using a machete or hunting knife to attack a member of the public.
Outside court, Detective Chief Inspector Darren Sly said police acted swiftly because they believed a terrorist attack was imminent.
“I think we were very, very lucky in the circumstances and if it wasn’t for the intervention of police there then I think we would have had a terrorist event on our hands,” he said on Friday.
“From a police perspective we’re happy with the sentence. I think it sends a good message to the community that we’re strong on terrorism.”