Benbrika urged maximum damage, court told

Terror leader wanted to ‘die for jihad’
ALLEGED terrorist leader Abdul Nacer Benbrika told two Sydney associates “we want to die for jihad” and “do maximum damage” to lives and to buildings, the Supreme Court was told yesterday.
Benbrika is alleged to have said, “everyone has to prepare himself. Or to die or be jailed. Allah know best. I don’t want this kind of life. Give that to them. But we have to be careful.
“We want to die for jihad. We do maximum damage, maximum damage. Damage their buildings with everything, and damage their lives just to show them. That’s what we are waiting for.”
He warned the men: “You be careful . . . Trust no one.”
His alleged conversation on 23 February, 2005 with the Sydney contacts – named only as “Khaled One” and “Abdul” – was covertly recorded by investigators.
Prosecutor Richard Maidment, SC, told the court that Khaled One and Abdul had previously attended a camp at Louth in NSW with several of the 12 Melbourne men, including leader Benbrika, who are being tried for terror offences. The men have pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Mr Maidment said Benbrika also told the Sydney men that he had refused to talk to ASIO agents who visited his home several days earlier. The prosecutor quoted Benbrika as saying: “They are dogs. Shouldn’t talk to them, even for normal questions, for, ‘How are you?’ I don’t answer you. Just get lost.”
Mr Maidment said several conversations recorded Benbrika talking about a 1600-page book on jihad that he wanted to print. Mr Maidment said he talked about it as “a good and dangerous book”.
Benbrika was asked by an unidentified male, “about dogma or something like that?”
Benbrika allegedly replied, “No, no, it’s about killing.”
Mr Maidment said Benbrika had also been recorded as telling several of his fellow accused it was important that the “brothers” (members of the group) not get scared.
Benbrika said that if anyone got caught, they could argue they were “young” and “naive”, Mr Maidment said.
“So instead of getting 10 years imprisonment, they get two years. That’s what he’s saying,” Mr Maidment said.
He also accused two of the men of colluding to lie to police who were investigating an outing the group had made to King Lake on 11 December 2004.
The trial continues before Justice Bernard Bongiorno.

First published in The Age.