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Sydney terror plotters jailed for 15 years

AAP logoAAP 8/12/2016 Lisa Robinson

Two men who planned to bomb a Sydney prayer hall with homemade napalm and vowed to stab people in the kidneys to impress an IS recruiter have been jailed for at least 15 years.

"Extremist ideologies and beliefs have no place in Australian society," said Justice Peter Garling on Friday in the NSW Supreme Court.

Omar Al-Kutobi, 25, and Mohammad Kiad, 27, pleaded guilty to doing acts in preparation for a terrorist act after identifying a Shia temple in Guildford as a target.

The pair planned to firebomb the temple using a jar of homemade napalm but said they buckled when they spotted a man in the car park in February last year.

They bought a hunting knife just before they were arrested two days later during a raid of their western Sydney granny-flat by counter-terrorism police.

Officers found the knife, a machete, a homemade Islamic State flag and a handwritten note saying "we are here to cut your heads".

Outside court Detective Chief Inspector Darren Sly said police acted swiftly because they believed a terror attack was imminent.

"I think we were very, very lucky in the circumstances and if it wasn't for the intervention of police there then I think we would have had a terrorist event on our hands," he said.

Al-Kutobi and Kiad became radicalised by late 2014 after contacting a man in Syria who became their Islamic State mentor, the judge said.

To show their commitment they made a video of Al-Kutobi standing in front of an Islamic State flag, holding a knife and pledging allegiance to the extremist group.

"I swear to God almighty, yellow people, there is no reproach between us. You will only get from us the stabbing of your kidneys," Al-Kutobi said in the video.

Al-Kutobi and Kiad denied that they were preparing to carry out a terrorist act or were planning to kill a member of the public with a knife on the night of their arrest.

But the judge said he did not believe Al-Kutobi's explanation that he had bought the knife for fishing and had forgotten about the napalm kept under his sink.

"There were parts of his evidence that were simply unbelievable."

In setting a maximum term of 20 years, the judge said "they were equal participants in the events".

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