Australian court sentences Bangladeshi student to 42 years for terror attack
MELBOURNE. KAZINFORM - A Bangladeshi student was sentenced to 42 years in jail by an Australian court on Wednesday for intentionally engaging in a terrorist act after stabbing her homestay landlord last year, EFE reports.
On Feb, 9, 2018, Momena Shoma stabbed Roger Singaravelu in the neck with a large kitchen knife while he was taking a nap with his five-year-old daughter in his Melbourne home. Both survived the attack.
The Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne handed down the sentence to the 26-year-old with a 31-year non-parole period.
Shoma pleaded guilty in September to engaging in a terrorist act for the advancing of a political, religious or ideological cause, namely violent jihad.
"It is the first time in Australia that a sentence will be imposed for the offense of intentionally engaging in a terrorist act," Justice Lesley Taylor said in her judgment, seen by EFE.
Eight days after arriving in the country to study at La Trobe University, Shoma yelled "Allahu akbar" as she plunged the knife into Singaravelu's neck, the court heard. The injury was so deep it fractured his spine, with the blade lodging in his neck and snapping off when he tried to remove it.
Justice Taylor said when Shoma was then approached by a neighbor, she said she had stabbed the man because she was ordered to do so by the caliph of the Islamic State terror group and had gone to Australia to attack someone, expressing the hope Singaravelu would die.
Singaravelu requires continuing medical treatment and he and his young daughter needs ongoing counseling. Singaravelu suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and has been unable to return to work. His daughter suffers flashbacks and nightmares.
The judgment stated that Shoma traveled to Australia with the sole aim of committing a terrorist act, that she brought with her the weapon with which she intended to carry out the attack, and that she has displayed no remorse.
"Indeed the only regret you have uttered is that you did not succeed in taking Mr Singaravelu's life," Justice Taylor said in her judgment, adding that Shoma's chances of rehabilitation are poor.
"Your deeds and words, and the intentions accompanying them, are chilling. They have sent ripples of horror throughout the Australian community. But they do not make you a martyr. They do not make you a beacon of Islam. They do not guarantee you green wings to ascend to Jannah," Justice Taylor said.
"They make you an undistinguished criminal. You should not mistake your passing notoriety for importance, nor equate it with achievement," she said.