NSW family weeps as 15yo’s bail bid fails

A 15-year-old terrorism suspect accused of boasting he would reach “paradise” by using a firearm has been refused bail in a Sydney court.


The boy’s distraught family broke down in the Parramatta Children’s Court on Friday when the shoeless boy was led away into custody, vowing to fight for his release.

The Sydney teen is accused of exchanging hundreds of calls and texts in 2014 with a group of men allegedly plotting terror attacks on key government buildings including federal police headquarters.

His defence team argued the boy was mentally unwell and the court heard he had been left horrified, fearful and paranoid by three raids on his house.

Magistrate Elizabeth Ryan said she held concerns the boy would commit an extremely serious offence endangering others if released on bail.

“There is no doubt that if this risk should materialise the consequences for public safety would be extremely serious,” she said.

“I reluctantly come to the view that bail must be refused.”

Outside court, defence lawyer Charles Waterstreet said his client would appeal the decision.

“We’re very disappointed and we have good reason to believe we’ll be successful on bail,” he said.

“It’s not a very comforting society if the price of our safety is to lock up kids that we don’t think we can protect from doing things by almost punishing them for inconsiderable times.”

The 15-year-old’s case has been adjourned until February 5.

One of his co-accused, 20-year-old Ibrahim Ghazzawy, will also remain in custody until his next court appearance after not applying for bail in Campbelltown Local Court on Friday.

Ghazzawy, from Raby, did not appear in court, instead remaining in court cells while his lawyer Muhammmad Tehseldar requested his case be adjourned to the new year.

Ghazzawy is expected to face court by videolink on January 20.

Police have kept both Ghazzawy and the boy under surveillance for at least 18 months and allege that in one 2014 text the boy used the word “banana” as a code word for “firearm”.

“I am going to get to paradise through banana. God is great, no God but Allah,” the text read.

He also spoke of his uncle’s “banana” licence and spoke of going to check out some “bananas”, the court heard.

Court documents reveal the group of accused terror conspirators allegedly used “party” as code for meeting or terrorist attack and “wedding date” for the date of the attack.

Members of the group are accused of gathering firearms and ammunition in preparation for the attacks.

Police raided the accused’s house in December 2014 and allegedly seized photos of the boy brandishing a firearm, as well as photos saved to his phone of beheadings and Islamic extremists.