Emily Ritchie, in The Australian, 2 May 2017, where the title is “Curtis Cheng Killer’s ISIS-Style Salute” … Note that emphasis has been imposed by the Editor, Thuppahi.
Just 15 minutes before teenage terrorist Farhad Jabar shot and killed NSW police accountant Curtis Cheng, he stared into the security camera at a Sydney mosque and ominously raised his index finger in an Islamic State-style salute. For the first time, a Sydney court heard details yesterday of alleged plotting between a group of young men accused of supplying the gun Jabar used to carry out the October 2015 murder.
The court was also told a bloodstained note, addressed to “disbelievers’’, was found on Jabar’s body after the 15-year-old was shot dead by police.
“By the will of Allah I have come today to put terror in your hearts,” the note read. “Know your security means nothing to us. Know your weapons are nothing compared to what we have, Our Lord, the all powerful and all encompasing (sic). Know that you all are being watched 24/7, while you are asleep, awake … but soon by the will of God, your nights will turn into nightmares, your days into hell and your planning is nothing to us.”
Three men — Talal Alameddine, 24, Mustafa Dirani, 23, and Milad Atai, 21 — faced a committal hearing in Sydney’s Downing Centre Court yesterday over their alleged involvement in the supply of the weapon. Crown prosecutor Paul McGuire SC said the case was built on phone taps of the group as they helped Jabar’s plot. Covert surveillance revealed an almost slapstick account of how one of the men apparently brought a gun that was too big and too obvious for Jabar’s plot just hours before the killing. Aerial police footage allegedly shows Mr Alameddine arranging to supply the murder weapon to fellow accused terror plotter Raban Alou, 19, at a Mays Hill park in Sydney’s west at about 1.30pm on October 2, 2015.
In recordings from Mr Alou’s car played to the court, he can be heard saying, “What did you bring?” and Mr Alameddine replying, “Well, I brought the 30 cal, bro … You wanted the big one.” Mr Alou can be heard saying, “Shit, bro.”
Mr McGuire said Mr Alameddine had provided a firearm “that turns out to be not the firearm that’s requested due to the wrong type or the wrong size.”
The men allegedly arranged a second visit to a different park to collect a .38 calibre Smith & Wesson handgun, a smaller, more concealable weapon. It was this weapon that police say was handed to Jabar at the Parramatta mosque where security footage apparently shows Mr Alou smuggling the weapon inside. There is no footage of the weapon itself, however, as Mr Alou allegedly handed the gun to Jabar in the female quarters of the building where security vision was unavailable.
Jabar, the gun in his possession, then left the mosque and saluted the cameras on the way out with his index finger, which Mr McGuire said was a gesture widely associated with Islamic State.
The three men who appeared in court yesterday sat together in prison greens and laughed between themselves as the footage was played, occasionally locking eyes with members of the courtroom and grinning. They were supported in the public gallery by three young men and a woman wearing a niqab.
Earlier during the hearing, the court was shown a series of WhatsApp messages between Mr Alou, Mr Atai and Mr Dirani in which they share pictures of Australian Defence Force personnel who appear to be getting off a bus. At one point in the WhatsApp conversation, Mr Alou referred to the images, saying: “May Allah curse them all and destroy them to pieces.”
Mr McGuire said the note found on Jabar’s body was almost identical to a torn-up note found in a bin in his bedroom that was written in his sister’s handwriting.
The teenager’s sister, Shadi Jabar, who was in her early 20s, allegedly flew to Syria the day before Cheng’s murder. Australian government officials confirmed in May last year she and her husband had been killed there by US airstrikes.
Mr McGuire said after Jabar shot Cheng, Islamic State online magazine Dabiqm referred to the teenager as among the “brave knights” of jihad who had “struck the crusaders of Australia and killed one of their personnel”.
“The crown says that reference … establishes that Islamic State was taking credit for the act of terror committed by (Farhad Jabar),” Mr McGuire said. The hearing is taking place to allow magistrate Clare Farnan to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for the matter to proceed to a trial before a jury. The hearing continues today.
- Rhiam Deutrom: “Killer gave sister a ‘black bag’ the day before Cheng’s murder,” 4 May 2017, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/sister-gave-killer-a-black-bag-the-day-before-chengs-murder/news-story/8b58a7b422e63e685745552997f78d8c
The man accused of sourcing the gun used by teenager Farhad Jabar to kill NSW police staffer Curtis Cheng, made frantic calls to associates before and after the Parramatta shooting in 2015, a court heard. The Downing Centre Local Court was shown a range of CCTV footage, aerial footage, photographs, text messages and online posts used in the case against Talal Alameddine, 24, Mustafa Dirani, 23, and Milad Atai, 21, who are charged with planning a terror act and supplying a .38 calibre pistol to Farhad, 15.
Raban Alou, 19, is also charged with planning a terror act but was not present at the committal hearing this week.
The committal hearing into the charges was told Farhad, who died in the attack, met his older sister Shadi Jabar the day before he shot Cheng.
CCTV footage showed the teenager carrying a black sports bag to the meeting, which he was allegedly given by Mr Alou, and handing it to his sister in a laneway outside the old Parramatta Library.
Shadi Jabar, 21, can be seen getting into a taxi that drove her to the Sydney International Airport, where she departed for Syria and married an ISIS fighter.
The court was not told what was inside the black bag that Shadi, who is believed to be dead, took to Syria.
The court heard Mr Alou made various phone calls to friends, allegedly requesting $100 loans in order to pay for a gun in the days leading up to the shooting.
On the morning of the murder, the following day, Farhad allegedly spent several hours speaking with Mr Alou and Mr Dirani at the Parramatta mosque before the two hugged the teenager and left to meet Mr Alammedine to allegedly collect the gun.
“The crown position is the reference made by Mr Alameddine (during a phone call) is a coded reference to what they were really up to,” Mr McGuire said.
“This conversation was about meeting to provide the firearm.”
Aerial footage showed the three men meeting at Jones Park where an object was placed in Mr Alou’s car.
The crown alleges Mr Alou then carried the gun beneath his robes into the female-only prayer section of the mosque where he handed it to Farhad.
After Cheng was shot, the accused men watched news on their phones and radios, attempting to contact each other to corroborate whether or not Farhad Jabar had been killed.
Just before 9pm, Mr Alou and his friend heard a statement on the radio by then NSW police commissioner Andrew Scipione about the death of Cheng. The court heard Mr Alou’s associate respond: ‘‘Good, job’s done then.”
- Laura Banks: “Cheng murder: Supporters of Farhad Jabar praise terrorist’s actions,” Daily Telegraph, 2 October 2015,
- Michael Roberts 2014: “Islamist with Sword is Greater Than Tamil with Acid,” 29 September 2014, https://thuppahis.com/2014/09/29/islamist-with-sword-is-greater-threat-than-tamil-with-acid/
- BBC 1991 “Suicide Killers,” Documentary Series.
- Alex Bilger 2014 “Backgrounder: ISIS Annual Reports Reveal a Metrics-Driven Military Command,” Institute for the Study of War, 22 May 2014. http://www.understandingwar.org/ sites/default/files/ISWBackgrounder_ISIS_Annual_Reports_0.pdf.
- Matt Bradley 2014 “Call for Unity: al-Qa’ida ‘Successor’ declares an Islamic State,” The Australian, 1 July 2014, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/wall-street-journal/call-for-unity-alqaida-successor-declares-an-islamic-state/story-fnay3ubk-1226972823445
- Michael Roberts 2014: “Where In-fighting generates Fervour & Power: ISIS Today, LTTE yesterday,” 21 July 2014 http://thuppahis.com/2014/07/21/where-in-fighting-generates-fervour-power-isis-today-ltte-yesterda/