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Alleged Lebanese terrorist turns on relatives in Australia

Published: Updated:

In a new development surrounding Lebanese would-be-terrorist Ibrahim Abbas who was arrested on September, 11, in Melbourne on charges of importing an assault rifle and semi-automatic weapons from Lebanon- has given evidence for the Australian prosecution against his brother and cousin, who along with another man are accused of planning a Christmas terror attack in 2016, in central Melbourne.

According to a news report in The Age, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) detained Ibrahim Abbas 39-year-old, as soon as he touched down at Melbourne International Airport, on allegations that he was planning to bring in high-powered guns including an AK-47 assault rifle, following the AFP and the Lebanese authorities collaborated to identify potential suppliers and traffickers of guns since December 2017. Full story

On Wednesday, Abbas Abbas appeared before the Victorian Supreme Court trial of his cousin Abdullah Chaarani, 27, his brother Hamza Abbas, 23, and a friend, Ahmed Mohamed, 25, who are standing trial over an alleged conspiracy to prepare for the attack in Melbourne’s CBD during the 2016 Christmas period.

Abbas said during his testimony that he had discussed his extremist views with the men, according to Australian media.

The jury was shown a surveillance video of the four men visiting Federation Square on December 20, 2016, and Abbas told the court he commented that it was “not that hard to kill someone”.

He added: “Then Chaarani said to me, How could you kill someone? How could it be so easy to kill someone?”

“And then I said you know what, if you slice someone in the neck they die, it’s a very easy way to kill someone … I said that and then the topic was changed and we walked around and made our way back.”

Abbas told the court he pledged allegiance on Facebook to ISIS when the caliphate was declared in 2014 and believed he was obliged to commit terrorist acts as part of jihad.

Abbas said both he and Chaarani would “check out” ISIS videos online but he was always the one who brought up the topic of carrying out a terrorist attack.

The court listened to a covert recording of Mohamed and Abbas in a car the day after they visited Federation Square.

Mohamed repeatedly said he was “shitting bricks” but went on to say he was “not backing down ... I’m just worrying bro”. The two discussed strapping Mohamed’s wife with an explosive device.

“What if it doesn’t blow up on her, she gets caught?” Abbas said. “See it’s different if we get caught, but if she gets caught ... her honor is gonna get touched.”

He said Mohammed had never agreed to do a terrorist attack. He also said he and his brother Hamza would argue when they talked about committing a terrorist attack.

“He never in any way indicated that he agreed with me.”

The three will appear again in court for sentencing.