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Terrorist Jailed for Plot to Attack Australia Government Buildings

Terrorist Jailed for Plot to Attack Australia Government Buildings

Friday, 3 November, 2017 - 10:45
Australian Federal Police officers detain a suspect in Sydney. AFP file photo

A 22-year-old Australian man described as a "devout terrorist" was sentenced to 22 years in jail Friday for plotting to attack government sites in Sydney.

Sulayman Khalid was handed the sentence at the New South Wales Supreme Court after pleading guilty to conspiring to act in preparation for a terrorist attack.

Four others, including a juvenile, were jailed for between nine and 18 years for similar or lesser offenses -- such as intentionally making a document connected with the preparation of a terrorist act.

Khalid, who was arrested during a series of police raids in Sydney and Brisbane in late 2014, "occupied a coordinating role" in the plot, Justice Geoffrey Bellew wrote in his ruling.

"In offending as he did, Khalid demonstrated that he was a devout terrorist," he said.

The group had been planning to target the Australian Federal Police building in Sydney, as well as the Lithgow jail, and had considered using weapons such as firearms, Bellew added.

In an appearance on the SBS program Insight in 2014, Khalid said ISIS only wanted to bring justice, peace and humanitarian aid to the people.

Canberra has become increasingly worried about homegrown extremism and officials say they have prevented 13 terror attacks in recent years.

But several have taken place, including the murder of a Sydney police employee in 2015 by a 15-year-old boy, who was then killed in an exchange of gunfire with officers.

Australian counterterrorism police have made a series of arrests since late 2014, with the young age and radicalization of many of those detained a growing concern for authorities.

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