IS supporter to walk free with conditions

Greta Stonehouse
·2-min read

A radicalised Sydney man who provided support for the Islamic State terrorist organisation by association will walk out of jail under strict control orders.

Radwan Dakkak, 25, pleaded guilty to two commonwealth offences relating to his association with IS members Isaac El Matari and Sheikh Hassan Hussein, as well as an organisation known as Ahlut-Tawhid Publications.

He was jailed for 18 months with a non-parole period of 14 months which was backdated allowing for his earliest possible release on January 1.

The nature of the support provided by him was "a long way removed from any actual terrorist act or foreign incursion activity," Federal Court Judge David Yates said.

Justice Yates subjected Dakkak to 20 interim control orders saying the nature of risk he posed was complex and multifaceted.

Dakkak must abide by a strict curfew each day, regularly report to police, avoid certain areas including Sydney Airport, and must not join any groups without written permission from the AFP, among other conditions.

"Once released from custody, and in the absence of appropriate controls, Dakkak will continue his pattern of behaviour for which he has been convicted," Justice Yates wrote of the applicant's submission.

While Dakkak did not directly pose a threat of committing a terrorist attack himself, he might continue to support and facilitate one by providing encouragement to radicalised individuals or distributing propaganda, Justice Yates said.

The orders are due to be handed down to Dakkak on March 22, 2021, or upon his release. If confirmed, they will be in effect for at least 12 months.

Dakkak was convicted for intending to support the IS organisation to expand or continue to exist by his association with certain affiliated members.

According to the agreed facts, he associated with Isaac El Matari in 2019 who intended to return to the Middle East to fight with IS.

He discussed his plans with Dakkak, who gave encouraging responses and advice such as "not to have a full beard (when travelling) but also not to shave it off completely" and discussed the safest routes into the areas where IS was operating in Syria and Iraq.

In one conversation, the men discussed a terrorist attack in Sri Lanka in which children were killed and Dakkak expressed the view that their killing was justified in the circumstances based on what were "obviously extreme political and religious beliefs".

He also associated with Sheikh Hassan Hussein, admitting seeking religious instruction and understanding, while he interpreted and translated pro-IS ideological material largely of a religious nature for Ahlut-Tawhid Publications.

Letters he had written from jail showed Dakkak remained committed to a strict form of Islam and there was no evidence he had been de-radicalised.