A judge has ordered the leader of an Australian terrorist cell who prosecutors said headed up a plot to attack major sporting events to spend at least 12 years in prison.

Victoria Supreme Court Justice Bernard Bongiorno sentenced Abdul Nacer Benbrika on Tuesday to 15 years for directing the activities of a terrorist organization, seven years for being a member of a terrorist organization and five years for possessing a CD connected with the preparation of a terrorist act.

The sentences will be served concurrently, with a non-parole period of 12 years.

No attack took place, but prosecutors say Benbrika and his followers, based in Australia's second-largest city of Melbourne, had identified railway stations and sports fields as possible targets for "violent jihad."