Australia: Son Of Terror Preacher Tried To Travel To Syria

From the Herald Sun:
THE son of terror preacher Abdul Nacer Benbrika was stopped at Melbourne Airport trying to travel to Syria.

Bakr Benbrika — whose father was convicted of leading a homegrown terror cell — was planning to travel to the war-zone but was thwarted by federal officials.

Mr Benbrika allegedly told authorities, when he was intercepted more than six months ago, that he wanted to go to Syria to perform aid work.

He was turned away and his passport was suspended.

It is not known if any further investigation has been undertaken.

Counter-terrorist agents fear those trying to travel to Syria or Iraq plan to join terrorist groups in these regions.

An Islamic leader said Benbrika likely influenced his son with “toxic” thoughts.

The Herald Sun approached Mr Benbrika’s mother, Rakia, who said her son was no longer living at her home.

Radical cleric Abdul Nacer Benbrika continues to have influence in and outside jail, despite being in restrictive maximum security conditions.

Under changes to the Citizens Act, Benbrika faces deportation to his country of origin, Algeria, as soon as his earliest release date in 2017.

A number of his followers have died fighting for Islamic State since his incarceration.

In 2006 a court heard that Benbrika hit one of his sons with a telephone receiver, breaking it and leaving the boy traumatised.

One Islamic community leader said it was likely that Benbrika had influenced his son Bakr’s beliefs: “He grew up in a toxic environment at that home. He had little chance.”

Bakr was also identified as a “troubled youth” who received support from the Islamic community after his father was jailed.

In an online rant, Bakr and his associates have mocked Shi’ite Muslims.

He frequented a northern suburbs mosque, playing pool with friends, but has rarely been seen in recent months.

His mother has provided Islamic lessons to the wives of those who have been charged under anti-terrorism laws following Operation Pendennis, which arrested 17 men after uncovering plots to target major Melbourne events and sites….

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