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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 August 2006, 03:57 GMT 04:57 UK
Australian jailed for bomb plots
An Australian policeman during an anti-terror raid
Australia has beefed up its anti-terror laws due to global events
An Australian man has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for plotting bombing attacks in Sydney.

Faheem Khalid Lodhi, a Pakistan-born architect, was convicted in June of planning various attacks on the city's power grid and military installations.

He was found guilty of three charges relating to terrorism, and faced a maximum sentence of life in jail.

Lodhi, who denies all charges against him, was prosecuted under Australia's strict new anti-terrorism laws.

'Violent terrorist acts'

Lohdi showed no emotion during Judge Anthony Whealy's sentencing on Wednesday.

Judge Whealy said that tough punishment was needed, because his actions "displayed an intention on his part that a violent terrorist act or acts would be carried out in Australia".

During Lodhi's trial in June, the New South Wales Supreme Court heard that he was planning an attack in Sydney in October 2003.

The prosecution said that the 36-year-old architect had written a so-called terror manual in his native Urdu, with instructions for making explosives and poisons obtained from the internet.

The court was also shown maps of Australia's national electricity grid that Lodhi had bought, and DVDs in his possession that contained information on violent jihad and terrorist training.

Lodhi pleaded not guilty to the charges, and claimed that his interest in chemicals was part of a business venture, and the maps of Sydney's energy infrastructure were part of a marketing plan to send generators to Pakistan.

Investigators have also claimed that Lodhi was in close contact with a suspected extremist from France, Willie Brigitte, who was deported by Australian authorities.

Both men are alleged to have trained with Lashkar-i-Toiba, a militant group based in Pakistan.

New laws

Three people have been convicted of terrorist charges under Australia's tough new security laws, which came into effect in 2002.

Last week one of the men convicted, Joseph Thomas (nicknamed Jihad Jack), was released when the Victoria Court of Appeal ruled that some of the evidence used against him was not admissible at his trial.

Thomas had previously been found guilty of receiving money and a plane ticket from an al-Qaeda agent, after training with the group in Afghanistan in 2001.

It is unclear whether he will face a retrial.


SEE ALSO
'Jihad Jack' conviction quashed
18 Aug 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Australian man guilty of terror
19 Jun 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Australian man 'planned blasts'
24 Apr 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Australia split on new terror laws
09 Nov 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Australia terror bill introduced
03 Nov 05 |  Asia-Pacific

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