Crime & Justice

Australia New Year extremist attack plotter gets 10 years

Sydney, Australia, May 21 (efe-epa).- An Australian court on Thursday sentenced a man planning to shoot at people at a landmark square in Melbourne during the 2017 New Year celebrations to 10 years in prison.

Victorian Supreme Court Justice John Champion sentenced the 23-year-old Ali Khalif Shire Ali for “terror and horror” that he sought with his failed attack attempt and called it, “random and despicable.”

Champion said the Islamic State sympathizer, who was facing the maximum penalty of life in prison, will be ineligible for conditional bail until completing seven years and six months in prison.

Among the reasons of a lesser sentence, the justice said that the plea of guilty by Ali, “is an important mitigating circumstance (…)not only furthers the interest of justice but is also a reflection of your later developed remorse for having committed the offense,” according to the verdict obtained by EFE.

Ali is the brother of Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, who rammed his gas-laden vehicle into a shopping area on the same street in the city before attacking three passersby with a knife in November 2018, ABC network said in its report.

Ali, who was convicted for an act of terror last year, had contemplated different types of attacks for the 2017 New Year’s Eve including bombing or using a truck however his driving license was canceled.

Ali had also planned to carry out a knife attack on those who visited Federation Square area but later decided to buy an AK-47 rifle to kill as many individuals as possible, according to the verdict.

Australian authorities detained Ali in November 2017, after he was accused of having access to documents produced by al Qaeda, including a guidebook on how to commit a terrorist act and how to use firearms.

Australian authorities last raised the terrorist alert in the country in September 2014 and have passed a series of laws to prevent possible attacks.

Australia has suffered around a dozen attacks since then while the majority of them have been with knives, however the Sydney cafe hostage crisis in 2014 was one of the bloodies with the death of the establishment’s manager and a client along with the perpetrator. EFE-EPA

wat/sk/lds

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