An Islamic State sympathiser whose playlist included Johnny Cash and Cold Chisel doesn't fit the typical profile of an extremist, partly because of his choice in music, a lawyer argues.
Robert 'Musa' Cerantonio, 34, was the Melbourne ringleader of a plot to sail from Queensland to help overthrow the Philippines government.
He had become an Islamic "wunderkind" with an international TV, radio and online presence, the Supreme Court of Victoria was told on Friday.
The "persuasive and charismatic" Islamic advocate also published lectures and videos via his Twitter account with "international traction".
Despite growing up Catholic, by his 20s Cerantonio was invited to speak at international Islamic conferences, had radio stints, and a job on a religious Egyptian TV show.
In 2016, Cerantonio was the organiser of the 'tinnie terror' plot to sail a seven-metre fishing boat off the Queensland coast along with five other men, with plans to join the jihadist group Abu Sayyaf in the southern Philippines.
But the IS sympathiser's lawyer Jarrod Williams said Cerantonio was a "complicated man" with "nuanced" views on Islam and Islamic State.
Mr Williams said when Cerantonio was arrested, police found a range of music on his phone including AC/DC, Cold Chisel, Johnny Cash, Paul Simon and Rammstein.
He said this was significant as Islamic extremists often didn't approve of certain types of music.
"This is a man who doesn't always fit the profile of an Islamic extremist," Mr Williams said.
He said Cerantonio grew up in a working class family in Footscray but became "disillusioned" with Catholicism, converting to Islam at age 17 and quickly becoming passionate about his new faith.
"He has certain natural abilities as a leader and as an advocate," Mr Williams said.
He said Cerantonio, who has married three times, could speak, write and translate four languages - all self-taught.
"It's pretty impressive," Justice Michael Croucher said.
"Why, when he has all this obvious ability, does he do what he did? Why didn't he use his great abilities for good?"
Justice Croucher said Cerantonio seemed to have been treated as "the wunderkind of the Islamic world" as he started gaining success in his youth.
The court also heard that in 2013, Cerantonio had been living in the Philippines but was deported to Australia and had his passport cancelled.
Crown prosecutor Richard Maidment argued there had been no evidence of renunciation or remorse.
Cerantonio's co-accused Murat Kaya, Kadir Kaya, Paul Dacre, Antonio Granata and Shayden Thorne have already been jailed for their roles in the plot.
Cerantonio will be sentenced on April 29.
Australian Associated Press