Monday, October 5, 2015

Australia: New Zealand call centre worker Amin Mohamed urged to grab chance of martyrdom in Syria

(ABC) A Melbourne man standing trial for trying to travel to Syria and fight against that country's government was told by an alleged recruiter that he needed to hurry before his chance to obtain martyrdom disappeared, a court has heard.

Amin Mohamed, 25, is charged with three counts of making preparations to travel to a foreign country and engage in hostile activities.

He was arrested along with Sydney-based alleged recruiter Hamdi Alqudsi in late 2013.

Prosecutor Lesley Taylor SC told the Victorian Supreme Court that Mohamed — a New Zealand citizen now being held in immigration detention — prepared to go and fight in Syria by applying for a NZ passport, booking a plane ticket to Istanbul and obtaining the name and phone number of a facilitator in Turkey from Alqudsi.

From Istanbul, it is alleged that he and a number of other Australian and New Zealand men intended to travel to Hatay Province, which borders Syria, and then to cross the border to take up arms against the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.