Australian Federal Police (AFP) Thursday arrested Mariam Raad on alleged charges of entering and remaining in war-torn Syrian territory controlled by the Islamic State (ISIS). Raad was repatriated to Australia from a Syrian’s Al Roj Internally Displaced Persons camp in October 2022 with other 16 citizens.AFP and New South Wales (NSW) Police from NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team jointly invested the crime and arrest Raad under Section 119.2 of the Criminal Code. Under the charges, Raad could face 10 years imprisonment. AFP and NSW stated that Raad was aware of her husband’s activities with Islamic State, and willingly travelled to Syria in early 2014 to join her husband, Muhammad Zahab, who had left to join ISIS as a recruiter in 2013. AFP further reported that Raad’s husband is believed to have dead in 2018.The Australian Criminal Code prohibits entering and remaining in areas where the government has declared that “a listed terrorist organisation is engaging in a hostile activity”. Only a legitimate reason for entering the area will act as a defence, for example entering to provide humanitarian aid.NSW Police Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton said, that the ‘priority of the NSW JCTT is to protect the community from those who seek to do us harm.’ Walton further stated that,We have zero tolerance for Australians or anyone who seek to commit acts of violence or extremism, and those considering doing the wrong thing will come under our notice. Our investigators methodically gather information and evidence, conduct surveillance and work tirelessly to target criminal activities which pose a threat to the Australian communityRaad Friday appeared before Griffith Local Court, where the Registrar granted conditional bail. It is expected that Raad will face the court again in March this year.
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