Australia's 'tinnie terror' plot leader jailed for 7 years
THE leader of a group of men who planned to travel by motorboat from Australia to the Philippines to join Islamic State fighters has been jailed for seven years by an Australian court
THE leader of a group of men who planned to travel by motorboat from Australia to the Philippines to join Islamic State fighters has been jailed for seven years by an Australian court.
The leader, Robert Cerantonio, and four other men towed their small boat by car some 3,000 km (1,865 miles) from Melbourne to Cairns in northern Queensland state.
They planned to sail to Mindanao island in the southern Philippines to join an Islamist rebellion, but were arrested before the left Australia.
Their far-fetched 2016 plan was dubbed the 'tinnie terror' plot - small aluminum boats are known as tinnies in Australia - even though their boat was made of fiberglass, Reuters reported.
'The whole venture was poorly planned and, I fear, foredoomed to failure,' Victoria state Supreme Court Justice Michael Croucher said in a statement provided by the court.
'Given the ill-suited vessel the group had purchased and their lack of serious boating experience, it is hard to imagine that they would have made it very far past the breakers,' he said.
The four other men, and a fifth who was involved in planning but never left Melbourne, were jailed earlier.
Cerantonio's seven-year sentence, with no chance of parole for five years and three months, was the longest.
'As the leader of the group, and as the one who inspired them to join the agreement, Cerantonio bears a much greater moral culpability than his co-accused,' the judge said.
Cerantonio had pleaded guilty to planning the trip to the Philippines. His lawyer did not respond to requests for comment.
Last week, an Australian court found a man guilty of plotting to blow up an Etihad Airways flight out of Sydney at the behest of the IS militant group, by hiding a bomb in the luggage of his brother.