First Australian Convicted of Recruiting for ISIS

– An Australian charged with 7 counts of supporting engagement in armed hostilities in Syria

An Australian court on Tuesday convicted the first Australian to be charged with recruiting people to fight overseas since the start of the Syrian war, according to Anadolu Agency.

News broadcaster ABC reported that Sydney man Hamdi Al Qudsi, 42, was found guilty of helping recruit seven men to join ISIS and other extremist groups in Syria between June and October 2013.

He was convicted on seven counts of supporting engagement in armed hostilities in Syria — each carrying a possible sentence of 10 years.

Al Qudsi was accused of collaborating with a senior Australian fighter for Daesh, Mohammad Ali Baryalei, in arranging for the seven young men to travel to war-torn Syria.

Of those he allegedly recruited, two died and two others returned.

Another never departed from Australia and was convicted last year on three separate charges of plans to travel to Syria to fight in the war.

Al Qudsi’s defense team told the court that people also sought to travel to Syria for reasons other than fighting, such as to offer humanitarian assistance.

His sentencing hearing is scheduled for August.

Australia has been engaged in efforts to increase anti-terror measures in recent years and has banned its citizens from traveling to Mosul in northern Iraq and Syria’s Raqqa province — unless they have a “legitimate purpose” for being there.

The country also passed legislation in December to strip dual nationals of their citizenship if they are convicted or suspected of terrorism offenses.