Australian mother arrested and charged with supporting terrorism

152

Australia-policeAUSTRALIAN police had to call in reinforcements after a group of hardline Muslims gathered at a Sydney police station clamouring for the release of a woman later charged with supporting terrorism.

The mother-of-four was arrested­ as she allegedly tried to board a flight in Sydney carrying­ cash and equipment — believed to include camouflage gear — for her husband fighting in Syria.

Joint Counter Terrorism detectives stopped the 29-year-old and her four young children as they attempted to board the flight about 8.30pm on Saturday.

A police spokesman said the Brisbane woman was taken to Mascot police station and later charged.

Three search warrants were also executed­ — two in Sydney and one in Brisbane.

Hardline supporters arrived at the police station after news of the woman’s arrest was posted on social media, with police forced to call for back-up to deal with them.

She was granted strict conditional bail by police and will appear at Downing Centre Local Court on June 2.

“The Brisbane woman was taken to the Mascot police station, where she was charged under the Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978,” the spokesman said.

“She was charged with supporting incursions into a foreign state with the intention of engaging in hostile activities.”

Sources have confirmed the mother was allegedly carrying an amount of cash and other supplies — believed to include camouflage gear — on behalf of her husband, who is in Syria.

The Al-Risalah Facebook page — a meeting place for young Muslims — yesterday claimed the woman’s passport had been confiscated.

“As per the sister who was stopped at the airport last night she and her kids are now safe with family but passport has been taken,” the post said.

Previous posts on Facebook about the arrest were removed after the woman’s family contacted the page’s convener.

While inner-west Sydney remains the hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism in the country, a tangled web of networks runs along the east coast from Brisbane down to Melbourne. In September, reports emerged of a 27-year-old Brisbane man becoming Australia’s first suicide bomber in Syria after a video showed the bombing of a military checkpoint, killing 35 people.

Al-Qaeda group Jabhat Al Nusra took responsibility for the attack.

More than 100 Australians, many from NSW and mostly young men, have travelled to Syria via alleged terrorist support networks linked to Jabhat Al Nusra and State of Iraq and the Levant movements.

The total number of Australians killed in Syria is believed to be eight, including Melbourne men Roger Abbas and Yusuf Toprakkaya.

Former Sydney soldier Caner Temel, who went AWOL from his Brisbane barracks and was later discharged, was killed by gunfire from other anti-Assad rebels in January.

The 22-year-old left behind a wife and baby.

Couple Yusuf Ali and Amira Karroum — also aged 22 — were killed in the same month.

Ali, a US-Australian citizen, grew up in suburban Brisbane and converted to Islam, later becoming a street preacher. Just last week, FBI director James Comey said the flow of foreign fighters into Syria had grown in the past few months.

Up to 5500 foreign fighters have travelled to Syria to fight and Mr Comey compared the flow with Afghanistan in the 1980s and 1990s. The News

Your Comments