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Bangladeshi sentenced to 42 years for terror attack in Australia

Rtv online desk
|  06 Jun 2019, 00:00 | Update : 06 Jun 2019, 17:11
Bangladeshi sentenced to 42 years for terror attack in Australia
Momena Shoma (Photo: Collected)
A Bangladeshi student found guilty of engaging in a terrorist act after stabbing her homestay landlord in an Islamic State-inspired attack has been sentenced to 42 years in jail.

Momena Shoma attacked Roger Singaravelu with a kitchen knife while he was having an afternoon nap in his Mill Park home, in Melbourne's north, in February 2018.

The Victorian Supreme Court had heard she yelled "Allahu akbar" as she plunged the knife into Mr Singaravelu's neck with such force the blade tip broke off when it was dislodged.

His five-year-old daughter witnessed the attack and still suffers from fear, trauma and an inability to trust people.

Shoma pleaded guilty to engaging in a terrorist act for the advancing of a political, religious or ideological cause, namely violent jihad.

It is the first time a sentence has been handed down for that charge.

Shoma, who did not stand for sentencing in the Victorian Supreme Court, received a non-parole period of 31 years and six months.

Shoma had been granted a scholarship to study at La Trobe University, but Supreme Court Justice Lesley Taylor said Shoma's only intention in coming to Australia was to carry out the "chilling" terrorist attack.

"You sought notoriety," Justice Taylor said.

"You wished to be a martyr and to trigger the West."

The court heard Shoma had brought the knife used in the attack with her from Bangladesh.

"You chose a method of attack that could be executed with speed," Justice Taylor said.

Shoma was initially housed in Bundoora after moving to Australia, where she prepared for the attack by stabbing a mattress.

She moved to Mr Singaravelu's home as an emergency after the original host family expressed concern over the event — but Mr Singaravelu said he was never notified about the incident.

The court previously heard Shoma carried out the attack to "trigger the west" and attempted to fatally stab Mr Singaravelu in the neck because he was "vulnerable" and an "easy target".

Six days before the attack, Shoma had searched the internet looking for night-vision goggles so she could see in the dark, and later purchased them for $10, the court heard.

She became radicalized in 2013 and was joyous at the rise of the Islamic State caliphate in Syria and Iraq a year later.

On the morning of the attack she had downloaded a video from Islamic State's media centre, Al Hayat, entitled Flames of War.

Source: ABC


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