First Australian charged with recruiting foreign fighters for Syrian war loses court challenge

A Sydney man accused of recruiting foreign fighters to battle the Syrian regime has lost a court challenge to the Australian law that he is charged with breaking.

Hamdi Alqudsi was charged under the Crime (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act after he allegedly helped seven men go to Syria in 2013 so they could fight for al-Qaida affiliates.

The New South Wales state Supreme Court judge on Thursday rejected Alqudsi's application to have the charge dismissed and ruled that he should stand trial.

Alqudsi is the first person to be charged with recruiting foreign fighters for the five-year-old Syrian conflict under the law, which was replaced last year with tougher counterterrorism legislation.

He has pleaded innocent to the recruitment charge and faces a potential seven-year prison sentence if convicted.