Date: 4/24/2004


A SYDNEY architect who was allegedly the point man for accused French terrorist Willie Brigitte is accused of intending to bomb the national electricity grid with nitrate he was in the process of ordering under bogus company names.

Pakistan-born Faheem Khalid Lodhi, 34, of the west Sydney suburb of Punchbowl, was charged yesterday by Australian Federal Police officers with three of the most serious terrorism-related offences on the commonwealth statutes.

They include committing an act in preparation for a terrorist attack, recklessly recruiting others to join a terrorist organisation and making documents to facilitate a terrorist attack.

The charge of preparing for a terrorits attack, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, involves alleged plans to bomb a "major infrastructure facility" - the electricity grid. Lodhi was alleged to have used a false order form, under an assumed name, to solicit maps of the grid from the Electricity Suppliers Association.

The recruitment charge centres on an alleged attempt to convince the Sydney medical student Izhar Ul-Haque, who was arrested on terror charges last week, to join the Kashmir-based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Lodhi also faces two other charges, including using false names to apply for a mobile telephone number and to buy chemicals.

Documents tendered to Sydney's Central Local Court say some of Lodhi's alleged offences occurred up to two years before Brigitte's time in Sydney last year.

Chief among them was the allegation that he tried to recruit Ul-Haque and others to LET between March 2001 and April 2003.

A federal police statement of facts alleges that Ul-Haque incriminated Lodhi during interviews with authorities last November - shortly after Brigitte was deported to France.

Lodhi was accused of providing misleading information to ASIO about his association with Ul-Haque and another Pakistan-based man, known as Sajid, who is believed to be a terrorist combat trainer.

The police fact sheet alleges Lodhi had dumped in a park rubbish bin near his home maps of military installations, including the Holsworthy army base.

On October 10 last year, seven days before Brigitte's deportation, Lodhi allegedly faxed an order for chemicals to the Sydney office of a firm called Deltrex, using the false company name Eagle Flyers.

On May 6, shortly after Brigitte's arrival, Lodhi allegedly used a false name, Sam Praveen, to obtain a Vodafone mobile number.

AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty confirmed last night that Lodhi's arrest was part of a continuing investigation into LET.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said he expected more arrests to follow.

In applying for bail, Lodhi's solicitor Stephen Hopper claimed police and ASIO had relied solely on circumstantial evidence. 'My client loves Australia and would not want to hurt any Australian citizen in any way,' he said. (WHO WILL BELIEVE THAT?)