Sydney man jailed for masterminding terror plot on Mardi Gras


hamdi alqudsi sydney terrorist group mardi gras attack supreme court
Image: 7News

A Sydney man has been jailed for 15 years after he led a terrorist group that plotted terror attacks on Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and other targets.

Last September a NSW Supreme Court jury found Hamdi Alqudsi guilty (pictured) after police charged him with intentionally directing a terrorist organisation preparing a terrorist act.

Supreme Court judge Stephen Rothman this week sentenced Alqudsi to 15 years jail, including 11 years and three months non-parole.

Alqudsi formed the Shura – “consultation council” in Arabic – in 2013. Prosecutors said Alqudsi directed the organisation between August and December 2014.

Initially, the Shura planned to send members to Syria and “fight against the Commonwealth”, the court heard.

But after police action disrupted those plans, the group turned their attention to “domestic terrorist activity”.

“Police disrupted initial activities of the Shura through cancellations of passports, arrests and search warrants,” prosecutors said last year.

“Once they were frustrated in their initial focus, over time [the group refocused] on performing, fostering domestic terrorist acts.”

Foiled Mardi Gras terror attack would have been horrendous

Judge Stephen Rothman said on Tuesday an attack on Mardi Gras would have been “horrendous”. The group’s naval base plot would have also caused deaths and serious injury.

“There can be no doubt on the evidence… the conduct was contemplated and would have been catastrophic,” he said.

“An attack on the Mardi Gras, particularly if it occurred by way of improvised explosive device – for which training was to have been received – would have been horrendous and targeted innocent members of the public.”

He said Alqudsi had said he no longer held extremist beliefs. However the judge ruled “on the balance of probabilities I don’t accept that the contrition is genuine or the remorse real”.

Alqudsi’s sentence was backdated to 2019 to include time already spent in custody. He’ll be eligible for parole in 2031.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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  1. 13 April 2023
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