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Australian Pleads Guilty in Israeli Embassy Plot - 2004-05-28


In Australia Friday a man pled guilty to conspiring with al-Qaida in a terrorist plot to attack the Israeli embassy in the capital Canberra.

British-born Muslim-convert Jack Roche maintained his innocence for nine days of his trial, but pled guilty Friday.

Defense attorney Hylton Quail says Mr. Roche decided to enter a guilty plea early Friday morning.

"It was his instructions to me that that's what he wanted to do, and that's what he's done," said Hylton Quail.

Mr. Roche is accused of working with senior members of the terrorist network al-Qaida to bomb the Israeli embassy in the Australian capital Canberra.

Mr. Roche's testimony provided an account of terrorist activity in Australia, showing that in 1999, he met members of the Southeast Asian terrorist group, Jemaah Islamiyah.

On a trip to Pakistan in 2000, Mr. Roche says he met al-Qaida leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who suggested an attack on Israeli interests in Australia. Mohammed is accused of plotting the September 11 attacks on the United States. Mr. Roche also says he met with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. Mr. Roche will be sentenced next Tuesday and faces up to 25 years in prison.

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