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Australian jihadists found guilty of terror plot

Five Australians face the prospect of life in prison after being convicted in a Sydney court Friday of plotting a terrorist attack.

world Updated: Oct 16, 2009 10:55 IST

Five Australians face the prospect of life in prison after being convicted in a Sydney court Friday of plotting a terrorist attack.

The five Muslim men, aged 25 to 44, had pleaded not guilty to stockpiling explosive chemicals, firearms and ammunition with the intention of carrying out an act of terrorism.

The court was told the men worked together for months preparing an attack and that they possessed pamphlets glorifying suicide bombings that would "kill as many of the enemy as possible".

Crown prosecutor Richard Maidment said the men "were intent on pursuing violent jihad themselves, intent on discovering how that can be done legitimately within the teachings of the Islamic faith".

The five were arrested in Sydney in November 2005. At the same time, six Melbourne men were arrested and also charged with terrorism offences.

The arrests came days after Australia updated its terrorism laws so cases could be brought against those thought to be plotting a terrorist attack who might not have fixed on a specific target.

The trial began in November, and the jury had deliberated more than a month before convicting the men, whose names were not released.