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Convicted Australian terrorist released early on parole

[JURIST] Australian authorities have released British-born Jack Roche [BBC profile] on parole 3 years after sentencing him in 2004 to nine years in prison [JURIST report] for plotting to blow up the Israeli Embassy in Canberra [official website], according to Thursday media reports. Roche must now regularly report to police. Born in England, Roche traveled to Afghanistan and met with Osama Bin Ladin after converting to Islam to fight a drinking problem. During his trial, he said he had not intended to become involved with al-Qaeda, and only followed their orders to conduct reconnaissance on the embassy because he feared for his own safety.

Roche denied agreeing to bombing the embassy, and said he tried to warn the Australian Security Intelligence Organization [official website], but they seemed uninterested in what he knew. He was the first person to be convicted under Australia's Anti-terrorism Bill 2004 [PDF text]. BBC News has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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