Benbrika claimed that in about 2014 he read the work of an Islamic scholar that allowed him to put aside the pursuit of jihad in Australia.
Justice Tinney noted that this revelation had a “whiff of implausibility” about it.
Among the reasons he gave were Benbrika’s “narcissistic personality traits” and “well-developed sense of religious and intellectual superiority”.
He also noted that Benbrika first expressed this supposed new view after a parole request was rejected.
“I’m satisfied that the defendant has not renounced or changed his previous beliefs which justified violence in the name of Allah,” Justice Tinney said.
“I am satisfied that the claimed change of heart by the defendant is a fabrication by him.”
Benbrika was sentenced to 15 years in prison in February 2009 for his role leading 16 other men to plot attacks on Melbourne landmarks. After time served in custody awaiting his trial, he was supposed to have been released on November 3.
However Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton sought to have the 60-year-old’s jail time extended on an interim basis while an application for a longer order was decided.
Justice Tinney said he needed to be satisfied that Benbrika posed an unacceptable risk if released into the community and that less restrictive measure were not available to prevent that risk.
In both instances, he said that a continuing detention order was the correct decision.
“I do consider this case to be very clear one for the making of a continuing detention order” Justice Tinney said.
“To my mind, the evidence was comprehensive and compelling, pointing inescapably to the correct outcome of this case.”
Benbrika, who was born in Algeria, is also facing deportation upon his eventual release from prison after his Australian citizenship was cancelled by Mr Dutton in November.
Lawyers for the federal government told the court that Benbrika had a “steady stream” of visits in jail from men who who later fought for Islamic State, including Khaled Sharrouf, and others who posed security concerns.
Sharrouf spent time in jail in Australia for terrorism offences and later used his brother’s passport to travel to the Middle East, where he gained notoriety in 2014 for tweeting a photograph of a young child holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier. Sharrouf was reported dead in 2017.
“To my mind, the continuing desire and willingness of the defendant to maintain these associations is an important matter, pointing to the risk he may pose should he be released from custody,” said Justice Tinney.
Tom Cowie is a journalist at The Age covering general news.