A man who grew up in Sydney before being arrested on terrorism charges has told a court his actions hurt himself, his family, the Muslim community and Australia.
Nowroz Amin was angry, irrational and immature when he downloaded instructions on how to make bombs and Islamic extremist material in 2015 and 2016, he told the NSW Supreme Court on Monday.
Amin was first apprehended at Sydney airport in February 2016 before being arrested and charged with terrorism offences two years later.
He pleaded guilty in April to one count of preparing for or planning a terrorist act.
After troubled high school years when he was running drugs and stopped practising Islam, he found belonging at a youth centre at Campbelltown in Sydney's southwest in around 2009, he told the court.
There he met Hamdi Alqudsi, who would later be imprisoned for recruiting Australian men to fight with Islamic State in Syria.
He first encountered the extremist material on social media, including Facebook and Telegram, he said.
He was angered by a crackdown on conservative Muslims in Bangladesh, where his family was from.
Amin related to the victims of the crackdown because he'd suffered physical violence motivated by Islamophobia in Australia, he said.
“While all of this was happening, the material that I had on me said a lot of things in regards to what to do about (it) and I believe that I might have been a bit indoctrinated,” he said.
“I felt like I had to do something about this.”
In around 2015, he began to talk with his cousin and a friend in Bangladesh about going there to engage in violence.
He also had “an inclination” to go to Syria to fight with Islamic State, inspired by Alqudsi.
He was on his way to Bangladesh when authorities intercepted him at Sydney airport in February 2016.
But Amin says that version of him has now died, and he has learned self-control and patience in prison.
“I do not believe in undertaking violence to make a difference,” he said.
“Due to my actions I've hurt myself, I've hurt my family, I've hurt my community and I've hurt this country.”
His actions have fed into a stereotype of Muslim people as terrorists and violent, he said.
Justice Peter Garling is expected to hear arguments about Amin's sentence on Monday afternoon.Internet Explorer Channel Network