Lodhi jury sees 'jihad' tape (Australia)
A videotape allegedly seized at the home of Sydney terror suspect Faheem Khalid Lodhi proclaims that "jihad is the best thing that man can ever volunteer to do".
Prosecutors allege the tape, played at Lodhi's trial today, was among material which motivated his cause of "violent jihad".
But the defence says Lodhi has never supported violent jihad, believing it to be a distortion of Islam.
The tape was allegedly found when Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) officers raided Lodhi's Lakemba home in October 2003 and mainly features amateur footage shot during the Russian-Chechen war.
It was played in the New South Wales Supreme Court, where Lodhi has pleaded not guilty to four terrorism-related charges.
According to an English translation of the tape's Arabic text and audio recordings, "the path to pride and honour and to deterring the enemies lies in jihad for the cause of Allah".
Jihad "is a way to spread the religion and terrorise the enemy, to expand the domain of Islam all around the world", says the narration.
"It should be learnt that jihad is the best thing that man can ever volunteer to do."
The video runs for over an hour and includes almost 15 minutes of footage showing a train and a string of tanks, trucks and troop carriers being blown up.
One explosion, which throws soldiers high into the air, is replayed three times.
The blasts are followed by shouts of "Allah is great!", while chants of "hail the brigades of fighters" punctuate the rest of the video.
Fighters are filmed training, praying and making explosives, while the bodies of leaders killed waging jihad also appear.
Other footage depicts fighters shooting down a helicopter and exploding anti-personnel mines.
Earlier today, Lodhi's former boss at architecture firm Thomson Adsett, Susan Kenny, gave evidence at the trial.
Lodhi is accused of downloading 38 aerial photographs of defence sites and buying two maps of the national electricity grid in preparation for a terrorist act.
Ms Kenny told the court his work as a draftsman and architect, working on aged care projects, did not require him to access such material.
However, under cross-examination she said staff had discussed aerial photographs in the office as being a useful tool for preparing site analysis.
Ms Kenny also said that information on a fax left in her in-tray, apparently sent to Lodhi from the chemical company Deltrex, was unrelated to his work for the firm.
She gave the fax to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) when it raided the office with ASIO officers a fortnight later, she said.
Former AFP agent Colin Ternouth testified today about an ASIO search of a unit where Willie Brigitte, a contact of Lodhi, allegedly lived.
Brigitte was deported to his native France in October 2003.
Mr Ternouth said a rifle magazine and paper with a phone number and the name Abdul Rakib were among items found in a sports bag at the Wiley Park unit.
When cross-examined, he said the rifle was one commonly used by the Australian Army and papers found at the home showed that Brigitte's wife, Melanie Brown, had been in the army.
Von: 5.5.2006 www.thesundaymail.news.com.au