Trio jailed for Christmas terror plot

This is a joint release between the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police

Three men have been jailed today (Friday, 29 November) over their plan to use improvised bombs and machetes in a terrorist attack in Melbourne’s CBD during the 2016 Christmas period.

The Victorian Joint Counter Terrorism Team foiled the plot, in which the men had planned to inflict maximum bloodshed and community fear, in an operation that resulted in the arrests of the masterminds on 22 December 2016.

Detectives from Operation Kastelholm seized machetes, partly constructed IEDs and electronic devices containing Islamic State propaganda material and bomb-making instructions when they searched the men’s homes in Melbourne’s north-western suburbs.

The three men were found guilty by a jury in October 2018, convicted of one count each of conspiracy to undertake acts in preparation for or planning a terrorist act, contrary to section 101.6 of the Criminal Code (Cth).

A 24-year-old man was today sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 16 years.

A 25-year-old man and a 27-year-old man were each sentenced to 26 years’ imprisonment.

Those two men are already serving jail terms for a separate attack and 16 years of today’s sentence must be served cumulatively on their existing term.

That results in a new head sentence of 38 years each, with a minimum non-parole period of 28 years and six months.

Another man had earlier pleaded guilty to his role in the terror plot and was sentenced to 24 years’ jail with a non-parole period of 20 years.

The Australian Federal Police, Victoria Police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), are among the agencies involved in the Joint Counter Terrorism Team.

The Melbourne Joint Counter Terrorism Team and the Counter Terrorism Command maintains strong links with the intelligence and other agencies that give authorities the best possible understanding of emergency issues.

The community is asked to report any suspicious activity to triple zero (000), Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the National Security Hotline on 1800 1234 000.

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