Trio Guilty Of Melbourne Christmas Terror Plot
Hamza Abbas wasn't just the "idiot brother" of a confessed terrorist, he was in on a conspiracy to prepare a Melbourne Christmas Day terror attack too, a jury has decided.
The 23-year-old, his cousin Abdullah Chaarani, 27, and friend Ahmed Mohamed, 25, were found guilty in the Supreme Court on November 2 of acts in preparation for an attack targeting Federation Square, St Paul's Cathedral and Flinders Street station in December 2016.
The verdict, made public on Wednesday after legal delays, followed seven days of deliberations and eight weeks of evidence including from Hamza's older brother Ibrahim Abbas, 24, who confessed his involvement to police and pleaded guilty earlier this year.
Mohamed and Chaarani laughed and smiled at each other as their verdicts were read. Mohamed gave his family a big, cheesy grin while Hamza gave them a thumbs up.
Police left court carrying two machetes bought by Chaarani and Ibrahim in preparation for the attack. Ibrahim said they were for "chopping to kill" and to slice the necks of disbelievers of their radical Sunni Islam.
The group also had the trappings for pipe bombs, including sparkler dust and hundreds of match heads, and chemicals including hydrogen peroxide that were intended to, as Ibrahim put it, "wage violent jihad".
The plot was foiled on December 22, 2016 by police who had been listening to their preparations and surveilling them as they carried out reconnaissance at Federation Square.