A picture of Agim Kruezi as he was  taken to Brisbane Watchhouse after he was arrested in terror-related raids south of Brisbane.
A picture of Agim Kruezi as he was taken to Brisbane Watchhouse after he was arrested in terror-related raids south of Brisbane.

Terror plotter jailed for 17 years

THE Logan terrorist who stockpiled weapons and planned a public attack on police officers who cancelled his passport, haulting travel to Syria to fight with rebels, will spend at least the next 13 years behind bars.

Agim Kruezi, 25, was today sentenced in the Brisbane Supreme Court after pleading guilty to one count each of foreign incursion and preparation for terror acts.

He was ordered to serve a head sentence of 17 years' jail but will not be able to apply for parole until 13 years' have been served.

In sentencing, Justice Roslyn Atkinson said criminal activity involving terrorism was "outrageous".

"You adhered to a radical strain of Islam that endorsed views of violent Jihad," she said, noting this belief had motivated his horrific terror plot.

"The offences were each committed in the context of the Syrian civil war.

"At the time you committed the offences, you were a young Muslim man living in Brisbane how associated with other like-minded individuals that shared your extremist views."

The charges came after Kruezi made arrangements to travel to Syria and illegally fight with a rebel group in early 2014, which is the subject of the first charge.

The Australian-born Albanian man later pledged his support to ISIS.

Kruezi then purchased a rifle and 10L of petrol in 2014 before attempting to buy glass bottles suitable to make molotov cocktails south of Brisbane in order to carry out a "public attack".

"Your weapons and plan were relatively unsophisticated but that does not mean that your plans were not brutal and would be successful," Justice Atkinson told Kruezi.

His actions led to police raiding his Boronia Heights home in September 2014 where they found the petrol, a bow and arrows, a loaded rifle, knives, two balaclavas, an ISIS flag pinned to his wall and extremist literature.

 

A picture of Agim Kruezi as he was  taken to Brisbane Watchhouse after he was arrested in terror-related raids south of Brisbane.
A picture of Agim Kruezi as he was taken to Brisbane Watchhouse after he was arrested in terror-related raids south of Brisbane.

The man's defence barrister John Allen QC argued the "planning did not ever involve exposing members of the general public" to harm, as the law enforcement officers were the intended target.

He also argued the the terror plot was "not imminent" and Kruezi's "determination and commitment to the plan was doubtful".

"It may well be that you intended to kill innocent law enforcement officers in a public place, but that does not in my view lessen your offending behaviour," Justice Atkinson said.

"If not imminent, it was at least planned to the point you had obtained weapons...

"There seems little doubt... that you intended to carry out the terror plot, albeit the precise details were yet to crystallise."

She told Kruezi she believed he was determined and committed to carry out the attack, arming himself with weapons after being prevented travelling to Syria.

"Your anger and intent evolved and escalated over the following months," Justice Atkinson said.

She later added: "... it is self-evident that terrorist action has caused immense harm...

"It can engender fear and distrust and stop people exercising cherished freedoms... a whole society can be affected...

"You also valued your beliefs over the safety and lives of people who live and work in this community."

The court today heard rehabilitation played a minor part in the sentencing because Kruezi's extremist views remained unchanged, despite being on remand for almost four years.

Kruezi, who was aged 21 when arrested, was originally charged with 12 more offences, which were dropped.

"It appears, in this case, you have accepted you committed these criminal acts but I see no evidence of remorse," Justice Atkinson said.

"You have not, apart from your plea of guilty provided any evidence of contrition."

Kruezi has already served more than 900 days behind bars.

Justice Atkinson finished the sentencing by saying: "I would like to pay tribute to those brave members of the community, including the Muslim community, who have assisted authorities in their job.

"... our community is strong in it's resolve to stand up to terrorism."



First patients treated at the region's newest hospital

premium_icon First patients treated at the region's newest hospital

Health units shifting into the new $73 million hospital.

A different whale season ahead for tourism

premium_icon A different whale season ahead for tourism

This year’s annual migration is a different experience for whale watchers with...

Positive signs for circle sentencing in Coffs Harbour

premium_icon Positive signs for circle sentencing in Coffs Harbour

Research gives hope for circle sentencing in Coffs Harbour.