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Just 7.5 years non parole for Melbourne Federation Square New Year's Islamic terror plot

This bloke's brother crashed a car full of gas cylinders in Bourke Street before going on a stabbing rampage in which he killed Sisto Malaspina.

Seven and a half years gaol is as weak as water.

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A man who planned a New Year's Eve terrorist attack in Melbourne's Federation Square three years ago has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Ali Khalif Shire Ali, 23, pleaded guilty in May last year to one charge of preparing a terrorist attack.

Police thwarted the plans, arresting him in November 2017 after a covert operation lasting a number of months.

The court heard Ali had originally planned to use a truck in the attack, but his driver's licence was cancelled.

He also contemplated knife attacks and making a bomb before deciding to buy an automatic weapon.

Supreme Court Justice John Champion ordered Ali to serve a non-parole period of seven and a half years for the "terror and horror" he had planned to achieve his "twisted religious and political objective".

Justice Champion described the plot as a "random and despicable act".

The judge said in the months before he was arrested, Ali had "an outward appearance of normality" despite a nightly routine spending hours watching violent jihadist material.

Ali was "intent on revenge" for what was happening to Muslims elsewhere in the world, the court was told, wanting to kill as many people as possible.

The court heard that in March 2017 Ali tried to buy an AK-47 assault rifle from gun suppliers who turned out to be undercover Australian Federal Police officers.

Ali went to Federation Square on a scouting mission with the covert police officers, talking them through his plan to shoot into the crowd and take hostages.

The court heard he told the officers if he saw Muslims in the crowd he would not shoot them.

He also told the officers he would not shoot a non-Muslim woman with a child, Justice Champion said in his sentencing remarks.

"But if she was alone, then yeah", Ali is said to have told the undercover officers.

Ali planned to record two videos to explain his actions: one to the Australian community about the treatment of Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, and another to the Muslim community.

"I'm gonna rise them up," he told the undercover officers.

Ali is the brother of Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, who in November 2018 crashed a car full of gas cylinders in Bourke Street in Melbourne's CBD before stabbing three people, killing cafe owner Sisto Malaspina.

More to come.

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