|Guards storming the Goulburn Jail took over by Muslims.|
With shouts of “Allah Akbar”, prisoners armed with homemade weapons threatened guards and smashed through an internal fence at the state’s toughest jail, which was in lockdown yesterday.
Police investigations are continuing today. Tensions have been running high in the prison system as federal and NSW police step up their surveillance of suspected terrorists and any of their associates inside and outside prisons after the country’s terror alert was raised to high.
A source has revealed how the violence began in the maximum wing of the Goulburn facility about 3pm on Saturday when a number of ringleaders refused to line up for afternoon muster. The source said the unrest had begun as a result of some privileges being requested — and denied — for a handful of inmates, but the situation quickly turned into a full-scale riot along religious lines.
“They’d been knocked back something ...,” the source said. “The issue wasn’t a Muslim-related issue, but it was the Muslim guys who got into it, yelling out to Allah. They were refusing to go into their cells. They refused to line up, then it went from there and exploded.”
|Mohamad Elomar the evil jihadist.|
He is the uncle of former boxer Mohamed Elomar, one of the Australian jihadis currently fighting with the Islamic State in Syria. Mohamed Elomar is with Khaled Sharrouf, who had been jailed along with Ali Elomar over the 2005 plot and fled overseas last year when he was released from jail.
Following Saturday’s riots, seven ringleaders were segregated and four were seen by medical staff for minor injuries. Corrective Services NSW confirmed it had used chemicals on Saturday against inmates who caused damage but denied reports that it was religiously motivated.
“Inmate unrest began about 3pm yesterday after staff informed inmates in that yard that a good behaviour privilege was being withdrawn, due to earlier verbal abuse of correctional staff,” a spokesman said. NSW Premier Mike Baird said: “I have every confidence in Corrective Services in keeping our community safe.
Sydney jails ready to explode: Lockdown as weapons foundand Muslim prayers banned. PRISON authorities have banned an Islamic prayer meeting in a Sydney jail amid fears the unsupervised meeting would be used to plot a terrorist attack on Australian citizens.
Following revelations that convicted terrorists are using coded messages to communicate from prison The Daily Telegraph can reveal that, after a high-level meeting of prison intelligence officials, a group of Muslims were stopped from attending a Friday prayer session.
With Australia on its highest terror alert since the 9/11 attacks in 2001 following a string of arrests across NSW last week, prison intelligence staff spoke about taking the unprecedented step of banning Muslim prayer meetings in all NSW jails.
A prison spokesman last night said the prayer meetings would not be banned across the entire system, but admitted one was stopped last week and “on other occasions for operational or security reasons’’.
A senior official has told The Daily Telegraph they discussed banning the groups and methods to extract intelligence from the religious meetings.
A scheduled 2.30pm prayer meeting at Dawn de Loas Correctional Centre, a low-security jail for men near Silverwater in Sydney’s west, was cancelled by prison authorities on Friday. Muslim inmates are allocated a prison room to conduct organised prayer meetings on Friday afternoons, usually at 2.30pm. The Daily Telegraph has been told the meetings are unsupervised because of safety concerns, and have been identified by police and ASIO as a security risk.
Corrective Services yesterday confirmed the prison system had implemented the controversial “de-radicalisation” program revealed in yesterday’s The Sunday Telegraph. “Corrective Services NSW has developed and implemented comprehensive strategies to deal with radicalisation and to strongly focus on deradicalisation of inmates,’’ a spokesman said. “Only specially vetted and accredited imams are allowed to lead the prayers.
|Long Bay Gaol in Sydney.|
“Anyone who applies must undergo strict security and information checks including having their fingerprints taken and a national criminal record inquiry conducted. Any person who has not resided in Australia for a period of five years or more is also subject to an Interpol check.
“CSNSW is working closely with other intelligence and law enforcement agencies and also provides specialised training to staff to educate on the indicators for radicalised behaviour and how to deal with it.”
The jihadist letter intercepted by intelligence staff is believed to have been sent by Leith Merchant, a caucasian murderer serving a minimum 32-year sentence who adopted a hard line approach to Islam after a jail conversion.
The letter was a jihadist call to arms and Merchant is now being held in High Risk Security Management at Sydney’s Long Bay Jail. There are concerns the prayer bans will spark riots and the cache of weapons found at Long Bay’s LBH2 could have been used in an attack on guards.
“As can be expected in light of national developments in recent days,’’ the spokesman said. “Management and staff in all correctional operations are extra vigilant. This results in heightened activities at all operational levels but is at all times based on an objective analysis of issues and appropriately structured responses. For reasons of security no further details can be provided. However, the focus on contraband detection through searches in prisons remains unchanged.”