A Sydney man who tried to travel to Bangladesh to take part in violent extremism has been sentenced to five years and four months in prison.
- Nowroz Amin was arrested at Sydney International Airport in 2016
- The court heard that Amin used coded messages online to inquire about bomb making
- The Supreme Court rejected the argument that he was planning a local terrorist attack
Nowroz Amin was stopped at Sydney International Airport in February 2016 when authorities found Islamic State-produced magazines and other terror-related material on USB drives in his suitcase.
The 30-year-old pleaded guilty to having prepared to plan a terrorist act along with an offense under the Customs Act and was sentenced to a maximum life sentence.
The NSW Supreme Court heard Amin talk about “cooking classes” and “opening a restaurant” during coded online conversations with people in Bangladesh, citing his attempts to learn how to make explosives.
But while the Crown accused him of planning an attack in both Australia and Bangladesh, Amin insisted he was simply bragging or trying to make a name for himself.
He agreed that he was seeking to identify someone in Bangladesh with knowledge of explosives, but said he never intended to carry out a local attack.
Justice Peter Garling found today that the Crown had failed to establish local attack plans as a contentious issue and said Amin’s intention was to target the government in Bangladesh.
He said the perpetrator felt strongly that Muslims, especially those with conservative views, were discriminated against there.
“He chose to explore the path of violence, but he had not dealt with it in any meaningful way before trying to travel to Bangladesh,” Judge Garling said.
The judge noted that Amin was at no time armed and that he had not entered into “specific arrangements” to join a particular group abroad.
Amin’s adoption of extremist ideology was driven by a mix of factors, including how he himself had been treated as a young boy and teenager after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the court heard.
But since then, he has expressed regret that he contributed to a “continuing stereotype” of Muslims being violent people.
Justice Garling said he was pleased that Amin had either renounced or is well on his way to renouncing extremist ideals.
The judge assessed Amin’s offenses to fall to below mid-seriousness, found that he had reasonable prospects for rehabilitation, and said he had “matured significantly” in the years since.
Amin’s sentence includes a four-year non-probationary period, which expires in June next year.