Friday, June 10, 2005

Australia's Most Dangerous Man

terrorist: Faheem Hhalid Lodhi
Terrorist Faheem Khalid Lodhi will be manacled and flown into Sydney via helicopter tomorrow amid fears supporters may attempt to break him out. Lodhi will appear in Central Local Court to find out whether he will stand trial for terrorism offences. Yesterday it was revealed in State Parliament Lodhi had also been reclassified as a risk to national security - the country's first high-risk terrorist category inmate. Prison and security officials confirmed to The Daily Telegraph yesterday they were concerned Lodhi's sympathisers could attempt to free him. He is being flown from a maximum security prison - the site of which repotters agreed not to reveal. The unprecedented security follows the reclassification of Lodhi as the country's highest risk inmate - AA - the first under the new terrorism provisions. This was prompted by allegations he had been trying to recruit another inmate to "extreme Islam" while on remand. Lodhi faces possible trial for terrorism offences under Commonwealth laws, including allegations he tried to obtain bomb-making chemicals, and conducted research using satellite images and maps of military sites and infrastructure. It is also alleged by authorities the 34-year-old architect from Punchbowl worked closely with French terror suspect Willie Brigitte. Yesterday State Parliament was told Lodhi will now only be allowed to be approached by at least two security guards at a time and will have all mail photocopied and phone calls monitored. He will now almost certainly come under 24-hour surveillance, with contact to other prisoners strictly limited to one person at a time for a maximum of two hours - again under surveillance. Security background checks will be conducted on some visitors. He will be placed in the most secure correctional centres and have his food specially prepared under measures announced by the NSW Government. It is believed suspicions were raised by the prison governor and security agencies about the contact Lodhi was having with other inmates as well as visits. Lodhi is facing nine charges for allegedly planning terrorist attacks on several Sydney defence sites. It has been alleged he trained with the banned terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba in Pakistan and acted as a local contact for Brigitte.