Wassim Fayed and Zakaryah Raad. Picture: Bullard Simon
Wassim Fayed and Zakaryah Raad. Picture: Bullard Simon

‘Terrorist threat’ Fayad released from jail

A man convicted of whipping a Muslim convert under Sharia law, who expressed approval for the actions of ISIS, and is considered a high risk of committing a serious terrorism offence has been released from jail.

Wassim Fayad, formerly known as Fadi Alameddine, 53, served more than seven years for a number of offences including a ram raid with a stolen car while on bail for the whipping offence and being accessory after a shooting incident at Sydney's Arrow nightclub.

But as his release into the community loomed, NSW authorities scrambled to secure an interim supervision order to restrict his movements, on the basis he still posed a threat to society.

Wassim Fayad with his co-accused in the whipping case, Zakaryah Raad. Raad is believed to have been killed in Syria. Picture: Brad Hunter
Wassim Fayad with his co-accused in the whipping case, Zakaryah Raad. Raad is believed to have been killed in Syria. Picture: Brad Hunter

An order was temporarily issued by the Supreme Court of NSW with 51 conditions, until a full hearing about his supervision could be conducted next year.

But the court was told despite Fayad serving the long sentence without parole his beliefs had not mellowed.

The court heard that Fayad appeared to still harbour fundamentalist religious beliefs and rejected key aspects of Australian democratic society and he "disengaged" from the deradicalisation program known as PRISM while in jail.

When Fayad was sentenced for the ram raid offence he refused to stand in the court, relaying through his lawyer that his religious convictions meant he could not stand before any man.

Fayad was convicted of lashing a man 40 times with a cable after the man had come to him for religious guidance, purportedly under Sharia law for abusing alcohol and drugs.

The court heard Fayad was also the subject of credible allegations he was involved in the recruitment of young men to travel to Syria to fight for terrorists organisations. He was never charged in relation to the allegations.

Fayad was the subject of allegations he had been involved in helping recruit people to fight in Syria. He was never charged over the allegations. Picture: Supplied.
Fayad was the subject of allegations he had been involved in helping recruit people to fight in Syria. He was never charged over the allegations. Picture: Supplied.

And that he associated with people convicted of terrorism offences and who harbour extremist views

Fayad, a father of six, is a cabinet maker by trade and worked in the mining industry and as a labourer. The court was told he had a limited criminal history until he was well into his 40s.

He has been the subject of a risk assessment report by a forensic psychologist which rated him as being a high risk of engaging in violent extremism behaviours.

Security reports about Fayad said he had incited unrest in the Supermax jail while housed as a high security prisoner, had tried to recruit other inmates to Islam, and continued to associate with a network that promotes violent extremism.

He refused to participate in the deradicalisation program after he was refused bail in 2018.

He wrote a letter to the PRSIM team and the State Parole Authority saying: "I wish to inform my parole and Prism I will no longer talk, see or engage with them in any way … I have read the one-sided reports prepared by them an how the decision to refuse me parole was totally twisted and framed.

"I will no longer validate the lying, hypocritical, manipulative process which seems to believe its own BULLSHIT and twist and manipulate everything I say with no benefit."

Wassim Fayad spent seven years behind bars. Picture: Cameron Richardson
Wassim Fayad spent seven years behind bars. Picture: Cameron Richardson

Supreme Court Judge Johnson said a number of statements made by Fayad while in jail are capable of demonstrating support for violent extremism.

Judge Johnson said Fayad also appears to harbour fundamentalist religious beliefs and rejects key aspects of Australian democratic society

A risk assessment report found Fayad when released was most at risk of indocrintating and radicalising others with the view for them to take up Jihad overseas or within Australia.

"While he personally has a history of violence, the risk of him personally engaging in acts of violent extremism is considered less likely although not totally inconceivable …" one report said.

In the judgement, Judge Johnson said the evidence did not suggest Fayad's beliefs or commitments had waned since he had been in custody.

The evidence indicated a level of enmity on Fayad's part towards nonbelievers and Shia Muslims.

Judge Johnson said it was well open to the court to conclude Fayad was more than sympathetic to the cause of Islamic state or similar minded terrorist organisations.

The Interim Supervision Order has 51 conditions including face-to-face contact with an enforcement officer, monitoring of associations subject to monitoring of movements, electronic monitoring and approval required for access to electronic material.

Originally published as 'Terrorist threat' Fayad released from jail


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