A Brisbane father of three who allegedly called for a Muslim jihad in Syria to “cleanse the lands of tyrants and their collaborators” will remain behind bars.
Omar Saghir, 39, has been charged with the preparation of foreign incursions as part of a group involved in travelling to Syria to engage in hostile activity.
Saghir appeared in Brisbane Magistrates Court by video link on Thursday when his application for bail to live with his widowed mother in Alexandra Hills was denied.
Saghir was arrested on July 16 as he returned to Australia from Saudi Arabia where he had been living since 2019.
He is alleged to have played a senior role in a Brisbane-based organisation that was religiously motivated and actively promoted a violent extremist ideology.
The charge stems from a $1010 international money transfer sent to an associate in Syria to “engage in combat against the Syrian government”, the court was told.
“This is not an offence that is a terrorism offence … but it does apply to a person who has made statements or carried out activities supporting or advocating support for terrorist acts,” crown prosecutor Daniel Whitmore told the court.
Saghir was living on the Gold Coast when he allegedly transferred the cash in August 2013 to a fighter dubbed Witness One.
He is then alleged to have followed the transfer by posting extremist views on social media calling for “new battlegrounds” to be opened up for attack.
“We must provide them with men, with armaments. We must open doors for them for victory,” Saghir is alleged to have posted.
“I urge Muslims everywhere in our nation of Islam, a nation, a belief, a nation of paradise, a nation of jihad – go back to the jihad for God, and let us support our brothers.
“We have to fight against them with the black flag with the flag of Mohammed, God’s prayer and peace be upon him until punishment is inflicted upon them.”
Mr Whitmore said that while the transfer occurred eight years ago, Saghir’s posts showed he had not moderated his views.
“The applicant believes in a radical Islamic ideology and a global jihadist ideology,” he said.
Legal aid lawyer Axel Beard claimed the cash transfer to Witness One was not in support of foreign fighters, but repayment of debt.
There was no suggestion his client posed a threat to public safety, he said.
“It is not the case that my client proceeds, upon a Facebook page that is alleged to be his, to make threats of a domestic nature against Australian citizenry or Australian public officials,” Mr Beard said.
“My client is alleged to be making religious and political comments, even in a quite extreme manner, about matters occurring overseas.
“That does not advance the argument that he is a real risk of the committing of further offences within a domestic setting.”
However, magistrate Tina Previtera accepted there was a genuine case against Saghir and refused bail.
“Aside from the evidence in or taken from the statement of witness one and the seriousness of the offences I would consider you to be a flight risk because of the time that you have spent offshore,” Ms Previtera said.
“He did not return voluntarily to Australia.
“There’s no evidence that he’s attempted to return to Australia, despite having a widowed mother and three children.”
Saghir was remanded for mention on September 3.