A 48-year-old man, accused of leading the terrorist group ‘Shura’, allegedly plotted to carry out attacks on Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and other places, a NSW court heard this week. 

Sydneysider resident Hamdi Alqudsi is facing trial after being charged with heading a terrorist organisation, which was preparing to carry out terror attacks. 

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In 2016, Alqudsi was sentenced to eight years imprisonment for his role in sending young Australians to Syria to help Islamic State fighters in the country’s civil war. Alqudsi was the first Australian to be convicted on terror charges for helping sending fighters to Syria. He was subsequently charged with planning to carry out terror attacks.

Prosecution To Present Evidence Against Alqudsi

In their opening statement before the jury, the prosecution detailed the evidence against Alqudsi, who has claimed he is “innocent”. 

According to the prosecution, Alqudsi formed Shura in 2013 and recruited people in Australia to travel to Syria to fight against the commonwealth. When the Australian Federal Police and NSW police foiled the plan, the group veered to planning domestic terror attacks.

Crown prosecutor Patricia McDonald SC told the jury that there were plans to attack a naval base in Sydney, the Israeli embassy, courthouses and the Mardi Gras, reported News.com.au

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“There will be a Woolloomooloo letter which sets out some of the proposed details about this attack on the navy base,” said McDonald, adding, the group also had “discussions about terrorist acts on the annual Mardi Gras event or parade”.

Planning For Terror Attacks On Mardi Gras

 

The prosecution said that the attack on Mardi Gras was suggested by the terror group’s contact in Syria, Mohammad Ali Baryalei in September 2014. Baryalei said that someone from Syria could fly over to Sydney to help train the members of Shura to set up improvised explosive devices for the attack. 

Later, Baryeli also discussed targeting tourists or backpackers, especially American and French nationals. 

Alqudsi has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The trial is expected to last five to six weeks. 



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