News State SA News SA woman accused of ISIS membership denied bail

SA woman accused of ISIS membership denied bail

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Australians detained or jailed in Syria will be at the mercy of invading Turkish troops. Photo: Getty
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An Adelaide woman charged with being a member of Islamic State remains a radicalised Muslim who had pledged allegiance to the terror group, a court has been told.

The 22-year-old Kenyan-born woman appeared by video link in Adelaide Magistrates Court on Friday where she was refused bail on a charge of being a member of a known terrorist organisation.

The court heard the woman had been in contact with the group over the internet, with the alleged offending occurring in the confines of her bedroom “in a clandestine way”.

Prosecutor Anne Barnett said the woman had kept her activity secret from her family.

The court heard the woman had been stopped at the airport by police last July as she was attempting to travel to Istanbul on a one-way ticket, and had her passport cancelled.

She was also interviewed twice by police but that did not dissuade her from her activity.

The woman had also been “mentored” by a person associated with Islamic State who had been involved in a terror attack in Kenya, prosecutors allege.

Ms Barnett said she used encryption techniques in a bid to hide her internet activity and in October last year, pledged her allegiance to the leaders of the terror group.

“It cannot be said that the prosecution case is weak,” the court was told.

But defence counsel Craig Caldicott said the case, as outlined so far, was “wafer thin” and there were no suggestions the woman had tried to get money or equipment for the group or that she had been involved in any acts of politically motivated violence.

He said allegations that she had been listening to broadcasts that attacked the western way of life, which the magistrate described as essentially a “call to arms”, had to be put in context.

Mr Caldicott said investigators had bugged her home but so far appeared to have only a few sentences that might incriminate her.

It seemed her only contact with IS involved being linked to the group through Facebook Messenger, he said.

Outside the court, Mr Calidcott said his client maintained her innocence and he would consider appealing the bail decision in the Supreme Court.

He said her family were upset by the decision to keep her in custody.
“They’re a bit shocked and dismayed. They’re talking about a very young 22-year-old female who they’re very concerned about,” he said.

The woman’s case will return to court in August.