Melbourne’s Trades Hall targeted by man who planned to carry out terrorist attacks, court told


Updated

September 03, 2018 18:36:15

A man who planned to carry out terrorist attacks on three Melbourne targets intended to recruit people by handing out information on how to make explosive devices, prosecutors allege.

Phillip Galea of Braybrook, in Melbourne’s west, was charged in 2016 with planning to commit a terrorist act and collecting material in connection to a terrorist act.

On the first day of Mr Galea’s committal hearing, prosecutor David Staehli alleged there was electronic material showing Mr Galea was targeting the Melbourne Anarchist Club in Northcote, the Resistance Centre in the CBD, and Trades Hall in Carlton where Mr Galea collected intelligence and conducted reconnaissance.

Mr Staehli said Mr Galea wanted to produce what he called The Patriots Cookbook, which would show how to make smoke bombs and metal bombs by using potassium nitrate “for the advancement of extreme right wing ideology to overcome the perceived Islam-isation of Australia”.

“Mr Galea intended to source and recruit people to attack the targets identified,” Mr Staehli said.

The court heard authorities raided Mr Galea’s property in 2015 and found 361 grams of mercury, along with video clips on how to make explosives, and instructions on manufacturing mercury as a precursor to explosives.

Prosecutors also said they found footage of Mr Galea performing a reconnaissance mission at the Resistance Centre in September 2015.

‘He started to talk about chopping people up’

Witness Heidi Martin told the hearing she met Mr Galea through a right wing rally in Canberra and they met up again in Geelong in 2015 with other people when creating the Facebook group, the Greater Geelong Patriots United.

The pair met again with three other people not long after to break away from the group and create their own page, Reclaim Australia Victoria Incorporated.

She became the editor of the new page but told the court members of the group became uncomfortable with posts Mr Galea was putting up.

“He had a particular focus on church burnings. He was starting to talk about chopping people up, which is certainly not in line with anyone’s beliefs,” she said.

“It was a matter that was quite alarming and concerning and you’ve got someone talking about doing something that could harm the community.”

She said she spoke with a number of other members about her concerns.

“We were mainly talking about things that Phil had told [me] which were alarming things. Things that would send shock waves through anyone,” she said.

Ms Martin told the court a man involved in the group, Greg Burton, had been asked by Mr Galea to edit documents that were going to form The Patriots Cook Book, and he was horrified at what he read.

“There was stuff about torture techniques,” she said.

Mr Galea is in custody.

Topics:

courts-and-trials,

crime,

law-crime-and-justice,

melbourne-3000,

vic

First posted

September 03, 2018 18:22:33



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