On 29 September 2016, Amin Mohamed was sentenced in the Supreme Court of Victoria to a period of imprisonment for 5 years and 6 months with a non-parole period of 3 years and 6 months, after being found guilty by a jury of three charges of preparing to enter Syria to engage in hostile activity.
In 2013, Mohamed had planned to travel to Istanbul before taking a domestic flight to the southern Turkish city of Hatay near the Syrian border, which he planned to cross with the help of a local man known as ‘Omar’.
On 21 September 2013, Mohamed was stopped from boarding an international flight to Turkey in Brisbane after his New Zealand passport was cancelled. At first he claimed he intended to travel to Syria to help provide humanitarian aid. He said he was to meet his cousin and a Somali couple who were already in Syria doing just this for refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict.
This explanation was very different to the one he had given New Zealand authorities when told his passport had been cancelled. Then he claimed he was stopping in Istanbul for a brief holiday on his way to Copenhagen to meet his prospective wife.
What Mohamed didn’t know was that police had intercepted his phone calls to Sydney man Hamdi Alqudsi who was helping him organise his travel to Syria. In one conversation on 5 September 2013, Alqudsi told Mohamed there was a big operation being planned and that it was an opportunity to obtain martyrdom, but that he had to act quickly before the frontlines were full.
Mohamed had made these phone calls using phones registered under false names. His calls revealed that he had undertaken a number of preparatory acts in Australia to facilitate his travel to Syria, where he intended to engage in armed hostilities in the Syrian conflict.
On 1 September 2016, Alqudsi was sentenced to eight years imprisonment for assisting seven men—including Mohamed—make arrangements to travel from Australia to Syria with the intention of engaging in hostile activities.
Charge / Sentence
Mohamed was sentenced on 29 September 2016 to five and a half years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of three and a half years in relation to:
- Three counts of doing an act preparatory to the commission of an offence against section 6 of the Crimes (Foreign Incursion and Recruitment) Act 1978 [CFIRA] contrary to s.7(1)(a) CFIRA.
“It is necessary that the sentence I Impose demonstrate the seriousness of your conduct and the significance of the consequences for those who would not emulate it. You also need to be deterred from any repetition of such offending”
“Conduct such as yours done with the intention to engage in hostile activities in Syria has the potential to affect Australia’s international relations and is obviously contrary to the country’s national security interest”