Zaky Mallah

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Zaky Mallah
Born 1984 (age 37–38)
Nationality Australia
Known for First individual charged under Australia's anti-terrorism laws

Zaky Mallah is an Australian who has been charged and acquitted under Australia's anti-terrorism laws.[1]

First Australian charged under its anti-terrorism act

In 2003, when he was nineteen, Mallah was arrested under Australia's new anti-terrorism act.[2] In 2005 the Sydney Morning Herald reported "The Federal Government was so sure Zaky Mallah planned a suicide attack on its offices in Sydney he was the first man in NSW charged under new counter-terrorism laws. Yesterday, he was the first acquitted.".

A video Mallah had made was the trigger for his arrest.[2] Mallah reportedly made the video after he had been denied a passport.

Mallah spent two years in a high security prison, while he awaited trial.[3]

Fired from the ANZ Stadium

In 2011 Mallah was employed by the ANZ Stadium -- until he was fired for broadcasting a video of non-public areas of the Stadium on youtube.[4] The videos included a shot of a private dining room, for VIPs, and a shot of the kitchen, where he worked. ANZ Stadium officials stated that the broadcast breached his employment conditions. Mallah asserted that his firing was triggered by his employers learning that he had once been charged under the anti-terrorism act.

Arab Spring

In 2011, following uprisings that were part of the Arab Spring, Mallah travelled to Syria.[3] Mallah has asserted that all the other Australians he met in Syria were filling non-combat roles, like he filled, which would not violate Australian law.

Return to Australia

In December 2012, after returning from Syria, The Australian reported Mallah claimed he had received death threats from individuals who doubted his truthfulness, and suspected he was a covert employee of Australian security agencies.[5]

In January 2013, Mallah was a member of a panel interviewed by Australian Broadcasting Corporation journalist Stephanie Smail.[6] According to Smail, Mallah started the Free Syria Army Australia group.

In May 2013 Mallah published a guideline for other Australians considering volunteering to help muslims in war zones how they could do so, without violating provisions in the anti-terrorism act that barred Australians from fighting in foreign wars.[1] According to the Australian News Mallah's analysis was that various kinds of non-violent assistance in war zones would not violate Australian law.[3] Treating wounded fighters would not violate Australian law; neither would preparing or serving rations, or carrying flags. Mallah claimed that individuals killed while aiding fighters would be martyrs entitled to the same after-life benefits an actual fighter is promised.

Zee News reported on May 18, 2013, that Mallah had been charged under the anti-terrorism act a second time for broadcasting the video.[7]

Security officials requested his help in December 2014

On December 15, 2014, a self-appointed "sheikh" took hostage the staff and patrons of a Sydney coffee shop. He had a list of demands which included a demand for a flag of the most radical militant group in Syria -- ISIS.[8] An article in the Daily Mail's Australian edition characterized Mallah as a "one time terror accused" described how Australian security officials sought Mallah if he could help them by supplying them with the ISIS flag.[9] Unfortunately Mallah does not own an ISIS flag.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Oz jihadist charged for issuing 'how-to survive' holy war list on Facebook". Sydney, Australia: Business Insider. 2013-05-18. "An Australian has been charged under anti-terrorist laws for issuing a how-to list on Facebook for how young men can engage in holy war without getting killed or ending up in Guantanamo Bay." 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Natasha Wallace, Joseph Kerr (2005-04-07). "Not a terrorist, just an angry loner starved of attention". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 2011-01-03. Retrieved 2013-05-18. "If Mallah had been convicted, he might have been jailed for life. But instead a jury in the NSW Supreme Court accepted the 21-year-old never intended to kill anyone and was just an angry loner who resented the Government for denying him a passport and allegedly oppressing Muslims in Australia." 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Candace Sutton (2013-05-17). "Australian ex terrorist accused's top tips for joining jihad". Australian News. Retrieved 2013-05-18. ""Jihad is not just about taking up arms and fighting, it can also be undertaken without breaking laws," he said. "There are several methods of being involved in the struggle."" 
  4. Amy Dale (2011-05-30). "Former terror suspect Zaky Mallah sacked for YouTube videos of restricted areas". The Telegraph (au). Retrieved 2013-05-18. "Mr Mallah told The Daily Telegraph last night he believed he was sacked after his employer found he had once been accused of terrorism, a claim yesterday denied by ANZ Stadium." 
  5. Adam Shand (2012-12-24). "Aussie supporter of Syrian rebels faces death threats over ASIO contact". The Australian. Retrieved 2013-05-18. "Sydney man Zaky Mallah, who was previously charged under anti-terror laws, told The Australian that he had been falsely accused of working for intelligence agencies and informing on Australian Muslims who had joined the Free Syrian Army." 
  6. Stephanie Smail (2013-01-04). "Arabic leaders call for closer scrutiny of Australians heading to Syria". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2013-05-18. "But some deny any Australians are fighting. Zaky Mallah started the Free Syria Army Australia group. He was previously charged under anti-terror laws but found not guilty. He says he's recently travelled to Syria and insists Australians are only providing humanitarian aid." 
  7. "Oz jihadist charged for issuing 'how-to survive' holy war list on Facebook" (in English). Sydney, Australia: Zee News. 2013-05-18. Retrieved 2013-05-19. "An Australian has been charged under anti-terrorist laws for issuing a how-to list on Facebook for how young men can engage in holy war without getting killed or ending up in Guantanamo Bay." 
  8. Candace Sutton, Daniel Piotrowski, Emily Crane, Sarah Dean, Louise Cheer, Leesa Smith, Heather Mcnab (2014-12-15). "BREAKING NEWS: Sydney siege ends with Muslim gunman dead and 'one hostage killed' after police and special forces storm cafe with guns and stun grenades". Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 2014-12-15. "Three videos were released on YouTube of three female hostages declaring the gunman's demands, which included the police bringing an ISIS flag to the cafe and insisting that he speak with Prime Minister Tony Abbott - however Daily Mail Australia decided not to air the disturbing footage which has since been taken down." 
  9. Candace Sutton, Daniel Piotrowski (2014-12-15). "Why did police ask former terror suspect for an ISIS flag?". Daily Mail. Archived from the original on 2014-12-15. "Counter terrorism police have contacted Sydney man and onetime terror accused Zaky Mallah and asked him for an ISIS flag. Just over four hours into the Martin Place siege, officers the NSW Police Joint Counter Terrorism Team and asked him if he could give them an ISIS flag."