Terror Accused's 'threat' To Informer

The Age

Friday February 22, 2008

Karen Kissane, Law and Justice Editor

"PRAISES to Allah, I'm gonna clobber him!"

That is what accused terrorist Aimen Joud told his companions he would do to a suspected informer, the Supreme Court heard yesterday.

Prosecutor Richard Maidment, SC, said Joud and others in the alleged terror group were recorded discussing whether to beat a former member they believed was informing on them to authorities.

"Hey, that guy needs a bashing and a half," Joud said in one conversation covertly taped by police. Mr Maidment said Joud spoke of wanting to show the man a lesson personally.

Accused terrorist Shoue Hammoud was also recorded making threats, Mr Maidment said.

Mr Maidment said these conversations on New Year's Day, 2005, followed phone calls that Hammoud had received warning him there were rumours at Preston mosque that he was being watched by police because he was allegedly involved in plans to "blow up Australia". The group believed the rumours must have been started by a former member of the group, and several were concerned it would lead to them "getting in trouble".

Hammoud and Joud are among 12 men, including alleged leader Abdul Nacer Benbrika, who have pleaded not guilty to terrorism offences.

Mr Maidment said Benbrika had told the men to deny the rumours and to be careful about their assumptions about the suspected informer, saying, "This is not proof. We call it 'collecting'. You are collecting things that make you think he did it."

But Joud said, "How much clearer? Do you want to hear the hypocrite or the spy or the liar is gonna come up now and say, 'I did this?' "

The men also discussed how best to explain the proposed bashing to police later, Mr Maidment said, with suggestions they could say he owed them money, or that he had dealt indecently with one of their wives.

Joud asked Benbrika to curse the people spreading rumours.

The trial continues before Justice Bernard Bongiorno.

© 2008 The Age

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