Australia jails Holsworthy army base suicide plotters

Australian police search car in Melbourne suburb (file image from August 2009)
Image caption Police carried out raids on 19 locations in August 2009 when the men were arrested

Three Muslim men have been sentenced to 18 years in jail for plotting a suicide attack on an army base in the Australian city of Sydney.

They had intended to enter the Holsworthy base with automatic weapons and shoot until they were killed.

But Judge Betty King described their plans as amateurish, and they were caught before enacting the plot.

Judge King said all three had extremist views which they had not renounced, and none of them had shown remorse.

"Your plans were evil. You intended to carry out a random shooting at anyone on that army base," she said.

But she added: "This was far from a sophisticated plan that was hatched."

The three men refused to stand when the judge entered the courtroom.

One of the defendants, Wissam Fattal, 35, had to be removed from the court because he repeatedly shouted about Afghanistan and Syria.

Fattal and the other two men - Nayef El Sayed, 28, and Saney Aweys, 27 - were told they would serve 13 and a half years before being eligible for parole.

At the time of their arrest in August 2009 police said the attack would have been the worst in the country's history.

Prosecutors said the men, some of whom had links to Somali-based militant groups, were motivated by a belief that Islam was under attack from the West.

According to a transcript read to the court, Fattal told undercover police: "If I find way to kill the army, I swear to Allah the great I'm going to do it."

They were convicted of conspiring to commit a terrorist act.

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