Home And Away actor turned convicted terrorist Bradley Umar Sariff Baladjam will stay in jail for at least another year after federal Attorney-General Michaelia Cash refused to grant him parole.

When the then 31-year-old also known as Omar Baladjam was sentenced in 2008 on four charges of making preparations for a terrorist act, he was found to be "a fervent and committed terrorist whose actions posed a significant danger to the community".

Senator Cash told News Corp Baladjam appears to have little remorse for his intended actions more than 16 years later.

"Having reviewed the nature and circumstances of this case, it would be unconscionable to let a convicted terrorist so intention taking Australian lives go free at this time," she said.

"Mr Baladjam stockpiled ammunition and chemicals in the hope of using them against Australians. In his eventual arrest, Mr Baladjam shot a police officer."

The convicted jihadi - and a former bit actor on Home And Away and the ABC's Wildside -who became involved in Australia's biggest terrorism plot known as Operation Pendennis, pleaded guilty to four charges of involved in preparations for a terrorist act.

Omar Baladjam has been denied parole.
Omar Baladjam has been denied parole.

In a separate trial in 2012, Baladjam was convicted and given an extra 18 months for discharging a firearm in public and possession of an unlicensed firearm.

He was sentenced to a total of more than 18 years jail with a 14-year minimum term. He was sent to the Super Max prison at Goulburn which is a prison within a prison which holds NSW's worst and most dangerous criminals including convicted terrorists.

Although Baladjam is now eligible for parole, his full sentence expires in 2024.

While in jail Baladjam was reclassified from an AA prisoner to the highest level - extremely high risk restricted (EHRR) prisoner as a result of the country's elevated terrorism threat in 2015.

Baladjam's lawyers made an appeal to the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal in 2019 to reduce his sentence, claiming through no fault of his own, a prison crackdown meant he lived under conditions that could not have been taken into account when he was sentenced.

Baladjam argued the restrictions were much harsher than those endured by a co-offender Mazen Touma and by Faheem Lodhi, Australia's first convicted terrorist who plotted to blow up Sydney's electricity grid.

Baladjam will have to wait another year for a chance of freedom
Baladjam will have to wait another year for a chance of freedom

Baladjam had complained that his treatment in jail after his reclassification imposed "much greater harsh and onerous conditions on an inmate" and "there was much less opportunity to get away from my cell".

He complained that when Touma and Lodhi were held in the Supermax they were allowed to associate with others more freely outside of their cells, make more phone calls and share books, food and magazines.

They were also allowed to have painting materials and colouring pencils.

Baladjam claimed he has no access to those activities nor is he able to continue the TAFE courses he had enrolled in.

Baladjam is still considered a danger to the community.
Baladjam is still considered a danger to the community.

 

Attorney-General Michaela Cash has denied Baladjam parole.
Attorney-General Michaela Cash has denied Baladjam parole.

He did complete a certificate IV in permaculture before the TAFE courses were cut.

A 2017 report from the prison about Baladjam also said he was no longer vulnerable to influences of faith or ideology.

But his appeal was dismissed.

Senator Cash said in refusing Baladjam's parole: "Terrorism remains a considerable threat in this country, and we are determined to stop this threat against Australians and our way of life. The safety and security of Australians remains our highest priority."

Originally published as New twist in TV terrorist case



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