A Melbourne magistrate says a man accused of funding a terrorist group is an unacceptable risk of reoffending, and denied him bail.
A Melbourne man who allegedly helped fund a terrorist organisation to “protect his innocent brothers and sisters” has been refused bail.
Hassan El Sabsabi, 23, is charged with sending $16,000 in 11 payments throughout 2014 to a person overseas to fund his travels to Syria and Turkey.
Magistrate Lance Martin refused El Sabsabi bail on Monday, saying the risk of him reoffending or fleeing Australia if released was unacceptable.
“From the material the Crown has gathered it would appear the applicant is supportive of terrorist organisations who have adopted a radical interpretation of Islam,” Mr Martin said.
El Sabsabi’s bail application heard that police tracked him communicating with the person on Skype and Facebook, following a tip-off from an international law enforcement agency.
When he was arrested at his Seabrook home, he allegedly told police “for me it is not a crime”, the Melbourne Magistrates Court heard.
The court heard he also said: “I give this person money because I see him defending my innocent brothers and sisters.”
Prosecutor Krista Breckweg opposed bail, saying El Sabsabi was driven by strong ideologies.
She alleged telephone intercepts had picked up El Sabsabi expressing support for the group Islamic State and expressing his interest in travelling to Syria.
“He’s willing to put his life at risk for his beliefs, so strong are they,” Ms Breckweg said.
“The applicant is motivated strongly by ideology and has expressed support for organisations which adopt a radical interpretation of Islam.”
El Sabsabi’s lawyer Rob Stary said his client, who would “hotly” contest the charges, was likely to face a long delay before the trial.
He said El Sabsabi enjoyed strong support from a family who represent the quintessential migrant success story.
El Sabsabi’s uncle Ali Elbob told the hearing he was prepared to put up a substantial surety for his nephew, who would also report daily to police if bailed.
El Sabsabi was arrested in late September as part of raids on several properties across suburban Melbourne.
He had been under surveillance for eight months after overseas authorities tipped off Australian Federal Police to his online activities.
He is facing seven charges of providing funds to a terrorist organisation, which carry a maximum penalty of 25 years in jail.
El Sabsabi faces a committal mention on February 3.