The New York Times reports that an Australian court has sentenced five Muslim men to prison for a terrorist plot against the Australian government.
The Times report states:
An Australian court on Monday sentenced five Muslim men to prison terms of 23 to 28 years for conspiracy to commit acts of terror…. The court ordered that the names of the men not be released.
Prosecutors said they had stockpiled dangerous chemicals, firearms and ammunition as part of a plan to wage Islamist jihad against the Australian government.
Justice Anthony Whealy of the Supreme Court of New South Wales said the men were driven by “intolerant, inflexible religious conviction.”
A report by The Australian describes the demeanor of the convicted terrorists upon hearing their sentences:
Moments after judge Anthony Whealy ordered the five… terrorists to serve lengthy jail sentences, the men looked calmly around the courtroom and smirked, confirming that none had any remorse for plotting violent jihad on Australian soil.
…The judge said the men seemed to “wear their imprisonment like some kind of badge of honor,” seeing it as “a test of their faith and a burden willingly borne as a duty arising from their fundamentalist religious conviction.”
The Times report continues:
The suspects had been arrested in 2005 after months of surveillance, wiretaps and searches of their homes, police officials said. The police found bomb-making guides and radical Islamist literature that was said to endorse mass murder and martyrdom as part of jihad…
The judge said Monday that some of the seized material glorified Osama bin Laden and included graphic images of violence involving hostages…
One of the men had trained at a Lashkar-e-Taiba camp in Pakistan. Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist group based in Pakistan, has been blamed by the United States and India for a number of bold terror attacks, including the rampage by gunmen through Mumbai, India, in November 2008 in which more than 160 people were killed.