Australians in court charged with plot to take boat to Syria

AP News
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Posted: May 16, 2016 2:52 AM

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — An Australian firebrand preacher deported from the Philippines and four other suspected jihadists have appeared in a northern Australian court charged with planning to head for Syria in a 7-meter (23-foot) boat to fight for the Islamic State group.

Philippine authorities said Robert Cerantonio was deported in 2014 because of his suspected links to terrorists based on YouTube videos allegedly showing him advocating jihad and urging local Muslims to support militants in the Middle East.

The Cairns Magistrates Court on Monday ordered the extradition of Cerantonio and his four co-accused from Queensland state to their hometown of Melbourne to face a federal charge outlawing Australian foreign fighters. Entering or preparing to enter a foreign country to engage in a hostile activity is a crime in Australia punishable by life imprisonment.