Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Three men jailed for terror attack on Shia mosque

Date of Publication: 
24 July 2019

Three Victorian men were today sentenced in the Supreme Court of Victoria for the offence of engaging in a terrorist act.  A jury had earlier found the men guilty of this crime by setting fire to a Shia mosque in suburban Melbourne, causing $1.5 million in damage.

Ahmed Mohamed (26), Abdullah Chaarani (28) and Hatim Moukhaiber (31), were convicted of engaging in a terrorist act. They set fire to the Imam Ali Islamic Centre in Fawkner on 11 December 2016.
Mr Mohamed and Mr Chaarani were also sentenced for their role in an earlier and unsuccessful attempt to burn down the same mosque in November 2016.

  • Ahmed Mohamed was sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of imprisonment of 17 years.
  • Abdullah Chaarani was sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of imprisonment of 17 years.
  • Hatim Moukhaiber was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of imprisonment of 12 years.

The men were motivated by Islamic State. The CDPP’s Deputy Director for Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism, Scott Bruckard, said the offences were committed in an attempt to intimidate Australia’s Shia Muslim community.

“The offenders committed these crimes in the mistaken belief that they had some kind of religious authority and obligation to undertake violent action against Shia Muslims,” he said. 

“The substantial sentences of imprisonment imposed by the Court today send an unambiguous message that such acts of violence and intolerance have no place in our community.”

Mr Bruckard commended the efforts of the Police Joint Counter-Terrorism Team and Federal Prosecutors, who worked closely together over an extended period of time, to assemble and present a compelling prosecution case. 

Summary of charges

1. Ahmed Mohamed and Abdullah Chaarani were each found guilty by a jury of attempting to engage in a terrorist act, contrary to sections 11.1(1) and 101.1(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth). Mr Mohamed and Mr Chaarani attended the Imam Ali Islamic Centre in Fawkner in the early hours of 25 November 2016 where they attempted to burn down the mosque.

2. All three offenders were found guilty by a jury of engaging in a terrorist act contrary to s101.1(1) and s11.2A(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth). The three offenders carried out various activities pursuant to their agreement, including attending at the Imam Ali Islamic Centre in Fawkner in the early hours of 11 December 2016 and setting a fire which destroyed the mosque.

CDPP Media contact: communications@cdpp.gov.au or 02 6206 5708.

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