The brother of Bourke Street terrorist Hassan Khalif Shire Ali has pleaded guilty to terrorism over a New Year’s Eve plot to shoot as many people as possible at Melbourne’s Federation Square.
Ali Khalif Shire Ali, 22 was preparing to stand trial but today pleaded guilty to one charge of preparing for a terrorist act, his lawyer Jarrod Williams confirmed
Ali, an Australian citizen, was due to stand trial after being arrested in November 2017 with police believing at the time that he planned to commit a mass shooting in Federation Square on December 31 of that year.
He had previously pleaded not guilty in a committal hearing in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.
His brother Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, 30, crashed a car full of gas cylinders in the Melbourne in November last year before stabbing three people and killling Melbourne hospitality icon Sisto Malaspina.
The 22-year-old Ali had been subjected to a lengthy police investigation, with a phone tap in place from October 2016 until his arrest, the court was told at a committal hearing.
He was also subject to physical surveillance and his spending activity was tracked.
Ali has been in custody since November 2017, when police arrested him at a Werribee shopping strip.
It was alleged he attempted to buy a gun for the attack, was described as an “ISIL sympathiser” and allegedly accessed an al-Qaeda guidebook with information on how to commit a terrorist act and use firearms.
Police at the time said the human cost of the plot would have been “catastrophic … horrendous.