The moment that changed terror suspect Sulayman Khalid
December 12, 2015
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The family of a western Sydney man allegedly at the centre of a disrupted terror plot have given an insight into the moment he allegedly turned his back on dreams of becoming a policeman and became disaffected.
Sulayman Khalid, 21, has been in SuperMax prison since his Regents Park home was raided in December, 2014, and several pages of handwritten notes were seized, allegedly containing loose, partially-formed plans to attack an Australian Federal Police building in Sydney.
On Thursday, after 12 months of physical and electronic surveillance and analysis of the notes, police charged Khalid and four others, including a 15-year-old boy, with further terrorism offences relating to the alleged plot.
Khalid’s older sister has set up a Facebook fan page to write post protesting her brother’s innocence, questioning his harsh treatment in SuperMax while awaiting trial, and detailing his upbringing.
She says her younger brother, born in Australia to Iraqi and Italian parents, wanted to be a policeman or a chef until the moment his passport was confiscated in 2013, when he was 18.
In a public post, she said Khalid left to study under a sheikh in Egypt when he was 17 but had to return to Australia temporarily because he fell ill. On his return, ASIO cancelled his passport and provided no explanation or avenue for appeal, thereby “crushing his dream” to return to Egypt.
“He didn’t want to be a cop anymore nor a chef, he just wanted to speak up against injustice [and] move towards media and communications,” she posted.
“This is how you isolate and make a young man who had just turned 18 feel confused, hurt, secluded and threatened. Just a letter with minimal information and no regard for his feelings, aims, hopes and dreams.”
The sister said, from that point on, her brother was frustrated and felt he was continuously being “ignored and watched”.
Khalid was outspoken about his passport cancellation, speaking to Fairfax Media and appearing on SBS’s Insight, where he walked off set after being grilled on extremism.
He would also preach in the main streets and parks of Greenacre and had set up his own YouTube channel for sermons.
His sister said he was a peaceful and misunderstood man, whose imprisonment in SuperMax would make the situation only worse.
“His wisdom is yet to grow … if they just let him out and give him a chance, if they sit with him and discuss his hurt [and] anguish and give him a chance to be understood they would all realise he is no terrorist. He just needed someone to approach him, put him in the picture, not strip his passport from him.”
Khalid has passed his family two hand-written notes from custody, one saying “I am INNOCENT!!!” and another with a hand pointing to God, covered in writings relating to “tawheed” – the Islamic concept of oneness of God.
The family have also been selling T-shirts with the slogan “suspicion is not good enough” for $25 to help fund his “expenses in prison”.
On the Facebook page, his sister has asked for friends and supporters to write to him and visit him in prison.
Police will allege Khalid and four others charged on Thursday were part of a close-knit cell planning to attack government buildings, specifically the AFP.
Khalid’s legal team have previously argued he didn’t author the notes, which his sister claims were verses from the Koran and “tawheed papers”.
On Thursday, police told a court that fingerprints were lifted from the documents, connecting a 15-year-old Georges Hall boy, who was 14 at the time, to their creation.
He was denied bail in Parramatta Children’s Court on Friday, with a magistrate saying there was evidence he was inspired by Islamic State ideology.
The boy’s phone allegedly contained pictures of a beheading, IS propaganda, photos of himself holding a rifle and a text message saying he wanted to get to “paradise” through “banana” – believed to be a code word for guns.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/the-moment-that-changed-terror-suspect-sulayman-khalid-20151211-gll65x.html#ixzz3xOJ29xtk
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