Holsworthy pair 'still of interest'
December 26, 2010
TERRORISM experts believe two men acquitted of planning an attack on the Holsworthy Army Barracks in Sydney are likely to be kept under covert surveillance.
Abdirahman Ahmed and Yacqub Khayre were found not guilty on Thursday of conspiring to plan a terrorist attack, while their co-accused Wissam Mahmoud Fattal, Saney Edow Aweys and Nayef El Sayed were convicted.
Melbourne's Supreme Court was told the accused men's target was the military and their plan was to enter the barracks armed with military weapons and kill as many soldiers as possible before they themselves were killed. But despite Mr Ahmed and Mr Khayre, both of Melbourne, being cleared of involvement in the plot, which included unsuccessful attempts to get a fatwa permitting an attack on the Australian military, the pair are likely to be closely watched.
Terrorism expert Clive Williams, from the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University, said they would still be people of interest and that would attract a certain level of attention from authorities.
''I know the police are unhappy with the outcome,'' Professor Williams said.
Carl Ungerer, National Security Program director at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said authorities were likely to keep the men under surveillance.
''The difficulty is what to do with them,'' Dr Ungerer said. ''If the police felt they had evidence to prosecute they would still be persons of interest.
''That is a difficult thing in a democracy - it is a real ethical and moral question.''
Australia three Muslims guilty: “………religious decree to endorse the attack at the barracks and shoot as many people as possible until they were killed or overwhelmed, to advance Islam.”