ISIS supporters jailed by Melbourne court for setting fire to Imam Ali Islamic Centre
Thursday, 25 July 2019
Three ISIS supporters who torched a Melbourne mosque to terrorise the Shia Muslim community have been jailed for more than 16 years, with a judge saying their crimes were motivated by hatred, intolerance and malevolence.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Three ISIS supporters who torched a Melbourne mosque to terrorise the Shia Muslim community have been jailed for more than 16 years, with a judge saying their crimes were motivated by hatred, intolerance and malevolence.
Abdullah Chaarani, 28, Ahmed Mohammed, 26, and Hatim Moukhaiber, 30, were sentenced in the Victorian Supreme Court for engaging in a terrorist act by setting the Fawkner mosque on fire in December 2016.
Last year two of the men, Chaarani and Mohammed, were also convicted over a thwarted plot to carry out a terrorist attack in Federation Square, planned for just weeks after the attack on the mosque.
The three men were captured on security footage breaking into the Imam Ali Islamic Centre during the night, and using 20 litres of petrol and a car tyre to set fire to the men's prayer section.
The fire caused $1.5 million in damage and the mosque had to be demolished.
In sentencing the men for the mosque attack, Supreme Court Justice Andrew Tinney said the ISIS supporters had carried out a heinous crime to strike a blow against and terrorise the Shia community, which used the mosque.
Justice Tinney said it was "an attack on religious freedom" that was "impossible to excuse".
He said he was left in no doubt that the trio supported "the evil ideology" of the ISIS group.
The men left their mark on the walls, using spray paint to write words linked to IS in English and Arabic, a message the judge said was left "for the whole world to see".
he men, who were jovial and chatty ahead of the sentence, also laughed in the dock as the judge described text messages they sent congratulating each other after the fire.
The court heard Chaarani and Mohammed had also previously tried to burn down the Islamic centre a month earlier.
Chaarani and Mohammed were sentenced to 22 years with non-parole periods of 17 years for the mosque attack and the earlier attempt in November, 2016.
Moukhaiber was sentenced to 16 years' jail, to serve a minimum of 12 years before being eligible for parole.