A man from Sydney – Hamdi Alqudsi – has been jailed for at least six years for helping young Australians to travel to Syria to fight alongside an Aussie terrorist Mohammed Ali Baryalei.
In July, the 42-year-old Alqudsi was found guilty of organising for seven young men to cross over the border from Turkey to meet the Islamic State (Isis) fighter between June and October 2013. Alqudsi is the first individual to be prosecuted under federal foreign incursion laws, according to Australian Associated Press.
During a sentence hearing last month, he said that he did not realise he was breaking the law when he sent the men to Syria but added that he felt "immense regret" for what he had done.
The trial also heard a series of tapped phone calls between Alqudsi and the men in Syria. In one such call, Baryalei is heard crying and saying, "I don't want to be here, man, I'm over it," and also wondering aloud how anyone could live in the "rubbish."
New South Wales Supreme court Justice Christine Adamson said, "I am not persuaded that the offender is either contrite or remorseful, although he is obviously sorry that his actions have resulted in adverse consequences for himself and his family." She said that the offender did not co-operate with the police for investigation and refused to believe that he did not know his actions were illegal.
Adamson also added that he took upon the role of the "commander" or a "big brother" to send the men to the war torn country. Alqudsi will be eligible for release only in 2022.
Two men, named Tyler Casey and Caner Temel, whom Alqudsi assisted are believed to be dead while two other men, Mohammed Abdul-Karim Musleh (also known as Abu Hassan) and Mehmet Biber have returned. Another man Amin Mohammed, a Melbourne man did not leave Australia and was found guilty of three charges regarding plans to travel to Syria last year at the Victoria Supreme Court, while rest two individuals cannot be found.