Seven men arrested over an alleged Christmas terror plot targeting Melbourne CBD landmarks appeared in court. Three men have been charged and remanded in custody. A 22-year-old man will face an out-of-sessions hearing later on Friday. A 21-year-old from Gladstone Park was released without charge. Abdullah Chaarani, 26, of Dallas, was the first brought to the dock at the Melbourne Magistrates Court, shackled and with his hands cuffed before him.
Police documents filed with the court allege that between December 1 and December 22, Mr Chaarani “did engage in acts done in preparation for or planning a terrorist act”. Wearing a black Adidas t-shirt and sporting a long beard, Mr Chaarani was calm during his brief court appearance before Magistrate Mary Robertson.
UPDATE – 23rd August, 2017 ( Herald-Sun)
“Hamza Abbas, 22, his brother Ibrahim Abbas, 23, Ahmed Mohamed, 24, and Abdullah Chaarani, 26, faced the Melbourne Magistrates Court this week for a committal hearing to determine if they should stand trial.
All four are appearing at a preliminary hearing at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, supported by about a dozen people, many of whom declined to observe the standard protocol of standing as asked by the clerk when magistrate Peter Mealy entered or left the bench.
Mr Mealy famously runs a strict court and over the years has kicked people out for breaches such as ringing phones.
On Monday, he again confiscated a television reporter’s phone when it beeped.
But he has not taken issue with the those in the public gallery who have declined to stand.
One woman began to stand when Mr Mealy entered the court following a short adjournment but sat down after being spoken to by a man sitting three seats along.
The four men are accused of planning a Christmas Day terror attack on Melbourne constructed a bomb made from sparklers and match heads, the court has heard.
Forensic expert John Kelleher earlier told the court he analysed a red plastic container loaded with homemade explosive powder.
On analysis, Mr Kelleher determined there was a little over 350 grams of sparkler composition — equivalent to more than 350 sparklers.
Mixed in with the powder was 32 grams of match heads.
Another bag found at the house contained sugar mixed in with sparkler composition.
The court heard some of the men may have carried out bomb tests at a property at Clonbinane — 55kms north of Melbourne.”
UPDATE – August 25th, 2017
UPDATE 28 August 2018 – The Age
Three men accused of preparing for ‘‘violent jihad’’ in a terror attack on Melbourne landmarks believed they would die as martyrs and enter paradise, a trial has heard.
Prosecutors allege Abdullah Chaarani, 27, Ahmed Mohamed, 25, and Hamza Abbas, 23, bought machetes and components that could be used in improvised explosive devices for an intended terror attack on Federation Square, St Paul’s Cathedral and Flinders Street over the 2016 Christmas and New Year period.
Both men looked online at an article titled “Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom”, from the Islamic State magazine Inspire.