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Terror suspect sent to Australia as "sleeper" by Al-Qaeda, court told

Suspected terrorist “Jihad” Jack Thomas was refused bail here Wednesday after a court was told he was sent home to Australia to become “a sleeper” after being trained by an Al-Qaeda military camp in Afghanistan. Muslim convert Joseph Terrence Thomas, 31, who is also known as Jack but who changed his name to “Jihad”, was arrested during a raid by Victoria state counter-terrorism police at his home in Melbourne’s western suburbs on Thursday. Prosecutor Richard Maidment told Melbourne Magistrates Court that Thomas had trained at an Al-Qaeda military camp in Afghanistan prior to the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001.Maidment said Thomas had spent three months of 2001 at the Farouk training camp where he learned how to use a range of weapons and also “personally saw at close quarters Osama bin Laden” who wanted someone to conduct surveillance operations in Australia. Thomas travelled to Pakistan between July 2002 and January 2003 where he stayed at various Al-Qaeda safe houses and discussed a plan to break out a Guantanamo Bay inmate. He was also alleged to have taken part in terrorism discussions, including a plan to bring down a jet carrying Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. The former taxi driver has been charged with receiving financial support from Al-Qaeda, providing the network with resources or support to help them carry out a terrorist act and having a false passport. Full Story

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