Sunday, February 26, 2006
When it comes to Islamic terrorism, our cousins down in Oz mean business.
An Australian man known as "Jihad Jack" has been convicted of receiving funds from al-Qaeda.
Jack Thomas, a Muslim convert, was found guilty of accepting $3,500 (£2,000) and a plane ticket home from an al-Qaeda agent in Pakistan.
A Melbourne court also heard evidence that Thomas had visited al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan shortly before the 9/11 attacks.
`Jihad Jack' is the first Australian to be charged and convicted under the stiff terrorism laws passed in 2002.
The former taxi driver could face up to 25 years in jail when he is sentenced by the Supreme Court in the next few days.
He was also found guilty of possessing a false passport, but he was found not guilty of intentionally providing resources for al-Qaeda.
Thomas trained in al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan before moving to Pakistan. He was arrested in November 2004 upon his return to Australia. Jack's defence was that he accepted the money and plane ticket because he wanted to return home and had no intention of becoming an al-Qaeda operative.
Yeah, I believe that one, all right.
Jack Thomas is one of 24 men charged under anti-terror legislation introduced in Australia in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks.