An Islamic extremist who conspired to prepare for a terrorist act has had an apparent anxiety attack at his sentencing hearing in Sydney alongside his co-accused.
Sulayman Khalid, 22, started crying and breathing heavily at the Supreme Court in Parramatta on Tuesday and briefly left the courtroom, with his lawyer stating he was ‘very stressed’, and a supporter claiming he was ‘having an anxiety attack’.
Khalid, Jibryl Almaouie, 23, and a teenager who can’t be named for legal reasons, have each pleaded guilty to conspiring to do acts in preparation for a terrorist act to advance ‘violent jihad’ in late 2014.
Sulayman Khalid (pictured during a court appearance in 2014) started crying and breathing heavily at the Supreme Court in Parramatta on Tuesday
The charge of conspiring to do acts in preparation of a terrorist act carries a maximum sentence of life in prison (pictured is Sulayman Khalid during a previous court appearance)
The three are among six involved in the plot to kill police officers and attack government buildings.
Three other men, Mohamed Almaouie, Farhad Said and Ibrahim Ghazzawy, have previously pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of knowingly making a document likely to facilitate a terrorist act.
Ghazzawy was sentenced in May to a maximum term of eight years and six months in jail and will be eligible for parole in April, 2022.
On Tuesday, the first of three days of sentencing submissions, Jibryl Almaouie also pleaded guilty to possessing two firearms.
His lawyer Ian Temby QC acknowledged Almaouie must serve a prison sentence for his part in the conspiracy, but said his role ‘should not be overstated’.
Sulayman Khalid, pictured on the SBS Insight program, pleaded guilty to conspiring to do acts in preparation for a terrorist act to advance ‘violent jihad’ in late 2014
‘He’s clearly a late joiner,’ Mr Temby said.
Almaouie was involved in two telephone conversations on December 16, 2014, nine days after his first contact with ‘central player’ Khalid, he said.
There had been a discussion about targeting the Australian Federal Police but ‘it was not acted upon and no specific physical target had been chosen at the time it was thwarted’ by authorities, he said.
‘You can’t sentence these people on the basis that they were going to do it … because we just don’t know,’ Mr Temby said.
The two men and the teenager plead guilty to plotting a terrorist attack on government buildings, including police headquarters, in Sydney almost three years ago (pictured is the police raids in 2014)
The charge of conspiring to do acts in preparation of a terrorist act carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Mr Temby said Almaouie has been behind bars in ‘harsh’ conditions since January 2015.
The ‘small in stature’ and ‘mild mannered’ man has lost weight since he’s been in prison, he said.
Prosecutor Nicholas Robinson QC said Almaouie played a significant role and would often use code words such as ‘fruit salad’, ‘marriage’ and ‘motorbikes’ when plotting with his co-conspirators.
‘The terms make no sense unless they are understood as meaning something else,’ he said.
Sentencing submissions continue before Justice Geoff Bellew.