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Sydney terror suspects face court -

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Sydney terror suspects face court

Broadcast: 06/03/2007

Reporter: Leigh Sales

Nine men have appeared in a Sydney court today, accused of plotting a major chemical explosion.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: The nation's biggest terrorism case has begun its Sydney hearings amid
extraordinary security. Nine men are accused of plotting a major chemical explosion. The
prosecution presented their case saying each man was motivated by extreme Islamic beliefs. Leigh
Sales reports.

LEIGH SALES, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Every inch of the Penrith Local Court was under
strict security for the appearance of the nine terror suspects. The accused were arrested in
November 2005 at the same time as a group of Melbourne men in police operation Pendennis. Today the
Sydney nine were led into a special dock enclosed in bullet-proof glass. Crown prosecutor Wendy
Abrams said: It's alleged each held certain beliefs relating to their interpretation of the Islamic
faith that can be characterised as extremist in nature.

She told the court the men had obtained ordered or inquired about ordering materials to make
explosives including 50 litres of hydrochloric acid, 200 litres of sulphuric acid and 25kg of
citric acid and other material including hydrogen peroxide, brake fluid, beakers and syringes. As
the court went into its lunch time recess, a man in Islamic dress who had been in the public
gallery shouted to the defendants. 'Allah Ahkbar' he cried and a few voices could be heard in
response coming from the dock. Outside the man claimed he was upset his friends had been arrested.

MAN: They didn't do anything. But they said they did it.

LEIGH SALES, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: The Crown prosecutor told the court the men were
impressed by September 11 and the London terrorist attacks and one of them had said "God willing
Australia's next. God willing we find out today John Howard's head has been chopped off."

The committal hearing is expected to take at least two months.