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NSW: Papers praising violent jihad "found with terror accused"

12 Nov 2008 2:18 PM

SYDNEY, Nov 12 AAP - Extremist literature found in the homes of five Sydney men accused of a terror plot described jihad as a Muslim obligation andsaid one hour in battle was worth 70 years of prayer, a court has been told.

Khaled Cheikho, Moustafa Cheikho, Mohamed Ali Elomar, Abdul Rakib Hasan andMohammed Omar Jamal have all pleaded not guilty in the NSW Supreme Court to conspiring to commit an act or acts in preparation of a terrorist act.

They are accused of plotting with at least four other Sydney men between July 2004 and November 2005, to obtain chemicals and firearms capable of being used in a terrorist strike in Australia.

Prosecutor Richard Maidment SC today presented to the jury a selection of extremist literature recovered from the men's homes.

When taken with other materials found in the police raids, Mr Maidment said, they showed a violent intent.

One document, titled "Fundamental concepts of essential jihad", said Islam was "first and foremost a mujahid nation", or country of warriors.

"Nothing prevents the Muslim from jihad, except for inability, and preparation becomes obligatory at that point," the document said.

It went on to claim that military training was therefore compulsory for Muslims.

"One can begin to see how material of this nature sows seeds in the minds of people who have an inclination and who regard themselves as being devout Muslims ... and develops into a desire or feeling of obligation to pursue violent jihad," Mr Maidment said.

He told the jury there was no proof that the men had read all, or in fact any of the material, but it was an important part of the "circumstantial picture".

"It is the fact that that material was found alongside images on computer or on CD which were, some of them, of graphic, quite gruesome kind ... whichthe crown says were designed to support the notion of violent jihad," Mr Maidment said.

"(The material was) also accompanied by videos of beheadings, of killings, of executions of a ritual nature, apparently in the pursuit of violent jihad and seeking to glorify those persons involved."

Mr Maidment said all the men except Jamal had had in their possession, writings by Dr Sheikh Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, who was credited by Time magazine as responsible for reviving the concept of violent jihad for the 20th century.

Dr Azzam had taken up arms with the mujihadeen in Afghanistan and there hadfound unprecedented "satisfaction of his longing and untold love" for fighting in the name of Allah, Mr Maidment said.

"One hour fighting in the path of Allah is worth more then 70 years of praying at home," Dr Azzam had written.

He had also written that jihad "must not be abandoned until Allah alone is worshipped" and Muslims ought to fight "in a manner that will strike terrorin the hearts of the enemy".

"This material is designed to inspire others to follow the path of violent jihad," Mr Maidment said.

Much of the literature venerated martyrdom and one document explained that "in certain circumstances it's permissible to kill children ... essentiallybecause they are in the way, one way or another, of the pursuit of violentjihad", he said.

One document described the the 2004 terrorist bombings in Madrid as an act of retaliation for Spanish involvement in Iraq.

"(The soldiers) are going to hear their own families at home under attack,"it said.

Justice Anthony Whealy told the jury not to speculate on why four other mennamed in the charge against the men standing trial were not also being tried.

"I simply wanted to say to you that you should not speculate at all as to why the other four men are not appearing as accused in this trial," the judge said.

"The fact is they are not. There may be many reasons why this is so, and good reasons at that.

"Simply put (it) out of your minds, don't concern yourself about it, don't worry about it, don't speculate about it."

The trial is continuing.

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