Mother arrested on terrorism charges

MEGAN LEVY
Last updated 13:07 05/05/2014

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An Australian mother has been charged with supporting terrorism after she was arrested at Sydney Airport while trying to board a flight to Syria with her four young children, police say.

Detectives from the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team arrested the 29-year-old woman, from Brisbane, at Sydney Airport about 8.30pm on Saturday shortly before she was due to board the international flight.

Police will allege the woman was attempting to deliver cash and equipment for a family member, believed to be her husband, fighting in Syria.

A NSW Police spokesman said the woman was preparing to board the international flight with her four young children when officers took her into custody during a police operation focusing on "foreign incursion offences".

"The Brisbane woman was taken to Mascot Police Station where she was charged under the Crimes Act (1978) which relates to foreign incursions and recruitment," the spokesman said.

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

Police also executed three search warrants - two in Sydney and one in Brisbane.

Police said the woman was granted strict conditional bail to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court on June 2.

The organiser of the Bankstown-based al-Risalah Facebook page claimed on Sunday morning that 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 Facebook post said.

An older post containing more information about the woman's arrest was removed at the request of a family member, the page said.

The Facebook post continues: "NOTE TO ALL: if you are approached stopped harassed or questioned by ASIO [Australian Security Intelligence Organisation] make it very public! They like to keep it silent so as to isolate you in the community do the exact opposite let everyone know!!!"

Another person posted that the woman had since returned home to Brisbane.

As many as 200 Australians are believed to have travelled to Syria during the country's civil war to help rebels trying to topple dictator Bashar al-Assad. 

Funding, recruiting for, or participating in the Syrian civil war is illegal under Australia's foreign incursion laws.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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