Hamdi Alqudsi is serving six years’ jail for recruiting Australians to fight in Syria.
Hamdi Alqudsi is serving six years’ jail for recruiting Australians to fight in Syria. News Corp Australia

The radical Islamic hardliners in jail and on the street

THEY have all been in the sights of police investigating radicalism - but many of Australia's young Islamic hardliners are today enjoying the freedoms of Sydney life.

Some have been released from jail after serving their sentences, others are on bail as their court cases progress, while a large number have been arrested but released because there is not enough evidence for police to charge them.

The Sunday Telegraph has compiled a list of 76 people who have been arrested, charged or convicted after NSW-based investigations ­related to terrorism or religious ­extremism in the past 15 years.

A majority of the list are behind bars, and although many names have been suppressed by courts, at least eight are living in the community.


ASIO would not confirm if they are among the more than 400 active investigations they have into high-priority counter-terror targets.

The most high-profile is former boxer Ahmed Elomar who was ­released from prison in August 2016 despite refusing to take part in a ­deradicalisation program.

Elomar served close to three years jail for bashing a police officer with a pole during the protests in Sydney's Hyde Park in 2012.

Also in the community are a man legally known as TC and Cengiz Coskun, who were both given 18-month suspended jail terms over an incident where a man was whipped 40 times with a cord for breaching sharia law by drinking and taking drugs.

TC was back before the court a year later after offending again and was ordered to serve an 18 month sentence "by way of intensive correction in the community", expiring in April 2016, court records said.

Another five men, who can't be named because of their involvement in another terror-related court case, are living in areas including Westmead, Merrylands and Parramatta.

All five were named in a control order taken out by the Australian Federal Police in March 2015 to prevent them associating with another terror suspect, Ahmad Saiyer Naizman.

Naizman, from Auburn, was sentenced to four years jail in February for breaching the order by watching extremist videos. He will be eligible for parole in February 2019.

Speaking in general terms, Levi West, the director of terrorism studies at Charles Sturt University, said formulating a person's potential terror threat or the moment when they might turn 'lone wolf'; and finite police resources made it impossible to monitor all terror threats around the clock or predict.

"You can't know when someone is going to move from extremist views to extremist violence'," Mr West said.

According to the Australia's ­Response to Terrorism report, which was released on June 6, there are around 40 people who have returned to Australia after travelling to Syria or Iraq to fight, and some of them ­returnees are significant concerns.

News Corp Australia

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