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Page last updated at 03:43 GMT, Friday, 25 September 2009 04:43 UK

Australia how-to jihadist jailed

A man who produced a do-it-yourself jihad book has been sentenced to 12 years in prison in Australia.

Bela Khazaal was found guilty last September of producing a 110-page book, in Arabic, entitled Provisions Of The Rules of Jihad.

This advised about terrorist acts such as exploding bombs, shooting down planes and assassinating people such as former US President George W Bush.

Khazaal had claimed his book was never intended to incite terrorist acts.

At his sentencing in Sydney, Justice Megan Latham said she found it "unsurprising" a jury had rejected his defence.

"It beggars belief that a person of average intelligence who has devoted themselves to the study of Islam over some years would fail to recognise the nature of the material," she said.

"The dissemination of extremist activity, connected or unconnected with a terrorist plot, is caught by the government's (anti-terror) scheme ... (because such material) is capable and is shown to foment terrorist activity."

Khazaal, a former Lebanon-born Qantas Airways baggage-handler, compiled the book from a range of Internet sources, his lawyer George Thomas told the court at an earlier sentencing hearing.

Its full title is Provisions Of The Rules of Jihad - Short Judicial Rulings And Organisational Instructions For Fighters And Mujahideen Against Infidels.

He is the first person to be convicted on the charge of making a document connected with assistance in a terrorist act, which carries a maximum jail term of 15 years.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that US international terrorism consultant Evan Kohlmann, who was called as a witness at Khazaal's trial, described the book as a "do-it-yourself jihad" manual, aimed at people who "don't have Osama bin Laden's telephone number".

The Supreme Court heard that, in December 2003, a military court in Lebanon sentenced Khazaal to 10 years' hard labour for terrorism-related offences, including forming a terrorist association for the purpose of committing crimes against people and property.



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