An Australian reporter has been charged with multiple offences after he allegedly tried to lure Christians to his house to attack them with a sword.
The man, Mr James Michael Waugh, is believed to have wanted to carry out the attacks in retaliation for attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which 50 people were killed.
Mr Waugh was charged with “threatening to act with intent to cause public harm, using a carriage service to menace others and possessing a weapon to be used to kill.”
Waugh was previously a reporter at the Queanbeyan Age, a local paper in New South Wales, but is reported to have left the job and had been unemployed for more than a month before his arrest.
The prosecutor, Rae-Ann Khazma, said of Mr Waugh that “he made it clear he would either engage in battle … making him a martyr or to make them look bad.”
“He also indicated his use of a scimitar [a Middle-Eastern sword with a curved blade] depending on how many Christians turned up and whether they were armed,” Ms Khazma added.
Waugh is alleged to have previously posted a threatening message on the Facebook group of Canberra House of Prayer in Yarralumla in late March. His message read “I’m going to kill every single one of you dog polytheist c—-“.
Defence lawyer Helen Hayunga pressed, without success, for Waugh to be granted bail, claiming there was no evidence he would act on his alleged threats.
“It is one thing to espouse bizarre or intemperate views and another to act upon them,” she suggested.
“The difficulty for the prosecution… is that there is no evidence he was going to act [on the threats],” she added.
Magistrate Peter Morrison observed that Waugh had acquired a weapon, however, and opted to remand him in custody until his next court date.
A doctor concluded he has no mental health issues.