Five Sydney men have been found guilty of conspiring to do acts to prepare a terrorist act.
Nanjing Night Net

After more than a month of deliberations, the jury has delivered its verdict today in the mammoth trial. The trial, which started last November, had lasted more than 170 sitting days and was held in a specially designed court room in Parramatta.

The prosecution had alleged the five men, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had conspired with four other men.

Some of them had obtained chemicals for explosives, registered firearms and ammunition.

The trial heard evidence from many hours of intercepted conversations and surveillance of the men over a 16-month period, which ended with their arrest in November 2005.

During searches in some homes, police also found bomb-making instructions and extremist literature, which allegedly supported indiscriminate killing, mass murder and martyrdom in pursuit of violent jihad.

In March and April 2005, some of them attended two two-night hunting trips in western NSW, which had been booked in a false name.

Police found spent ammunition at the camp and the prosecution alleged the men were training for holy war.

One of the men had trained at a Lashka-e-Toiba paramilitary camp in Pakistan.

Some of the men were also pictured with family members going camping or having picnics, but claimed these were innocent activities, as was the possession of large quantities of batteries and other equipment.

An order for $3000 worth of laboratory equipment was linked to their plans for a terrorist act, the Crown alleged.

But the defence suggested the equipment was ordered for home schooling.

The prosecution also told the jury they believed the men knew they were about to be raided and hid large amounts of material with the help of piping.

The men were remanded in custody.

They will appear again on December 14. Sentencing submissions will begin that week. Justice Anthony Whealy said he hoped the sentencing submissions would be finished that week but they might be extended.

– with Malcolm Brown

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