The secret codes used by a Sydney man who planned to carry out a terrorist attack in Bangladesh have been aired in court.
A Sydney man who plotted to carry out a terrorist attack in Bangladesh could be out of prison next year after a judge rejected the suggestion he wanted to unleash a wave of violence in Australia.
Nowroz Amin was on Monday sentenced in the NSW Supreme Court after he was caught in online conversations with overseas extremists making plans to carry out attacks.
He was also caught carrying a trove of extremist material including IS propaganda when he was stopped at Sydney Airport in 2016.
Justice Peter Garling accepted that Amin had since renounced his devotion to Islamic State and extremist views after being radicalised in the wake of September 11 and what he saw as the persecution of Muslims in Bangladesh – his parent’s home country.
Following his arrest in southwestern Sydney in 2018, he was charged with preparing for or planning a terrorist act.
He pleaded guilty on the eve of his trial earlier this year, however rejected the crown prosecution’s argument that he intended to carry out a terrorist act on home soil or in Syria.
The court heard that he was caught in social media conversations with two people in Bangladesh during which he discussed his plans to travel to the country, as well as his radical ideology.
He was caught with a number of extremist publications including the Anarchist’s Cookbook and magazines issued by Islamic State.
The former amateur boxer also sought instructions on how to make an improvised explosive device and accessed a file on his computer titled “How To Make a Cocktail Bomb”.
During one online conversation in August 2015, he was caught saying that “our boys will open a restaurant now within a few weeks” and “I need a little bit of cooking class” in what were thinly veiled references to violent acts.
However Justice Garling rejected the assertion that he was trying to carry out violent attacks in Australia.
He pointed out that Amin did not communicate with fellow extremists in Australia, nor did he take steps to acquire arms or explosives here.
“I do not accept that the crown has discharged its onus on this disputed issue,” Justice Garling said.
“I accept the offender’s evidence that he had not embraced that part of the IS ideology that mandated taking violent actions in a person’s home city or nation when they were unable to travel to an IS stronghold … There was no conduct which suggested he was arming himself to take violent action in Australia.”
However, Justice Garling said that did not lessen his offences given the need to protect those in foreign countries was just as important.
“The fact that the community to be protected is in Bangladesh and not in Australia is of no moment,” he said.
“The protection of the foreign community is just as important as the protection of the Australian community.”
Justice Garling accepted that Amin had renounced his previously violent views and expressed regret that his actions had fed into stereotypes of Muslims.
Though he noted that Amin had no clear plan about what group he would join or what he would do had he travelled to Bangladesh.
He also afforded him a 20 per cent discount for his guilty plea.
Amin was sentenced to five years and four months in prison, backdated to his arrest in June 2018.
He was given a non-parole period of four years, meaning he could be released as early as June next year, though any parole decision will reside with the federal attorney-general.