Melbourne, Feb.3 (ANI): The leader of a Melbourne-based terrorist cell, Abdul Nacer Benbrika, has been sentenced to 15 years' jail for failing to renounce violent jihad.
Benbrika, 48, of Dallas, was sentenced to a non-parole period of 12 years in the Supreme Court. He has already served 1184 days in custody.
Justice Bernard Bongiorno said Benbrika and six of his followers had shown no remorse for their involvement in a terrorist group that had been bent on destroying "kuffar''- Arabic for "unbelievers'' - in Australia.
The Supreme Court heard Benbrika, a former aviation engineer, had shown no contrition after becoming the first Australian to be convicted of leading a terrorist group last September, following the country's biggest-ever terrorism trial that lasted seven months and cost tens of millions of dollars.
"It can only be hoped that the length of the sentences themselves will have the effect of deterring him from persisting in espousing the cause of violent jihad, thus itself effecting his rehabilitation and also protecting the public,'' Justice Bongiorno said.
The father-of-seven faced a maximum 25 years' prison for directing the terrorist group that the jury heard had discussed attacking Melbourne's Crown Casino and bombing the MCG.
Benbrika was also convicted of possessing a compact disc connected to the preparation of a terrorist act. (ANI)