Sydney terror leader who plotted attack on Mardi Gras found guilty

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

A Sydney man has been found guilty of leading a terrorist group that plotted a series of terror attacks, including on Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras among other targets.

Hamdi Alqudsi (pictured) was convicted in the NSW Supreme Court after police charged him with intentionally directing a terrorist organisation that was preparing to carry out a terrorist act.

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

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

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, the exercise of arrests and search warrants,” prosecutors said.

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

Hamdi Alqudsi’s group plotted attacks on Mardi Gras, naval base, embassy

Alqudsi pleaded not guilty to the charge, denying he was involved with the Shura and only met members socially.

But the Crown told the court he referred to himself as “the Commander”. He and the members of the Shura also “pledged allegiance” to ISIS.

As well discussing an attack on Mardi Gras, the Shura also plotted attacks on a Sydney naval base, the Israeli embassy, a courthouse and the Australian Federal Police, the court heard.

On Thursday, the jury handed down the guilty verdict, convicting Alqudsi of the charge, News Corp reported.

Hamdi Alqudsi remains in custody. A NSW Supreme Court judge will sentence the Sydney man in late October.

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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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