You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Vic man jailed for Syrian martyrdom bid

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/09/2016 Genevieve Gannon

A New Zealand man who claimed he was travelling to Syria so all his sins would be wiped away has been jailed for his failed bid at martyrdom.

Amin Mohamed, 26, had been having coded conversations with Sydney man Hamdi Al-Qudsi, who sent two aspiring jihadists to their deaths in the months before customs officials stopped him leaving Australia.

The Victoria-based man used codewords to discuss martyrdom, "the frontline" and a "big job" involving "1500 brothers", whom he described as "doctors", with Al-Qudsi, who he called "the coach".

Mohamed has since said being pulled out of the Brisbane airport queue on September 21, 2013, was a blessing in disguise.

In sentencing Mohamed to five and a half years jail on Thursday, Victorian Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry, appeared to agree, saying if Mohamed had made is as far as Syria, he "would not have lasted long".

"You do not seem to have any previous experience that would have equipped you for what you apparently wanted to do," Justice Lasry said on Thursday.

"That may be a clear indicator of how misguided your state of mind was at the time."

At his plea hearing, Mohamed submitted he had been "brainwashed" or "radicalised".

Before he was arrested, Mohamed had resigned from his job, told his boss he was taking his terminally ill mother to her home country to die and booked a one-way ticket to Istanbul.

When he was stopped, he claimed he was travelling to Istanbul en route to Denmark to see his fiancee who was organising his ticket out of Turkey.

This, Justice Lasry said, along with the claim his mother was ill, was a lie.

Mohamed was found guilty by a Victorian Supreme Court jury of three counts of attempting to enter a foreign state for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities.

The main issue at the trial was whether or not it could be proven beyond reasonable doubt Mohamed was travelling to engage in hostile activities.

During the trial, Mohamed claimed he was migrating "for the sake of God".

"The person who makes this migration, if it is successful, that all his sins behind him are wiped away," Mohamed said.

Justice Lasry said it was unclear exactly what Mohamed planned, but he would be sentenced on the basis he was going to Syria to fight on what he considered to be "the front line" and, if necessary, become a martyr.

He ordered Mohamed to serve a minimum of three and a half years.

The time Mohamed has spent in immigration detention since his arrest in January 2014 will count towards his sentence and he will be eligible for parole in July next year.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon