Australian court hands out heavy sentences for Melbourne Christmas terror plotters

Two men who plotted a 2016 Christmas Day terror attack in Melbourne, Australia’s second-most populous city, will spend at least 28 years behind bars, a court ruled on Friday.

The Victorian Supreme Court ruled that Ahmed Mohamed, 27, and Abdullah Chaarani, 29, planned to behead people and set off bombs in Federation Square in Melbourne’s city centre.

A third man, 24-year-old Hamza Abbas, who was linked to the plot, was jailed for 16 years.

Local media reported that during the lengthy trial, the court heard that the men had bought machetes, bomb-making material and had tried to obtain guns.

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In sentencing, Supreme Court Justice Christopher Beale described the 2016 plot as “an assault on the fundamental values of our society,” national broadcaster ABC reported.

During the hearing, Mohamed, who came to Australia from Egypt as a child, told the court he joined the plot because he thought Islamic State was “cool,” ABC said.

Mohamed told the court he now hated Islamic State and only participated in the plan because he was too “chicken” to back out.

A fourth man, Ibrahim Abbas, 25, the brother of Hamza, is already serving 24 years jail for leading the plot.

His plan included putting an explosive vest on his brother.

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