Adelaide woman acquitted of Islamic State membership had advanced notice of Kenya attack
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An Adelaide woman who was acquitted of being a member of Islamic State believed she had an “influence” over the timing of a terror attack at a Kenyan police station in 2016, the Federal Court has heard.
Zainab Abdirahman-Khalif, 25, spent two years and six months in jail after a South Australian Supreme Court jury found her guilty of being a member of a terrorist organisation.
However, she was freed on appeal in October 2019.
Commonwealth prosecutors have asked the High Court to overturn her acquittal, but the hearing has been delayed because of the coronavirus health pandemic.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is seeking to use powers under the Anti-Terrorism Act to control parts of Ms Abdirahman-Khalif’s life in a bid to prevent a potential terror attack.
She has been subjected to an interim control order for the past six months which has limited her social media use, movements and employment.
It also bans her from contacting anyone in Turkey, Syria and Iraq.
Andrew Berger, for the AFP, today told the Federal Court that it was “difficult” to monitor someone in the community.
“But nevertheless, the attack has occurred and there has been loss of life. One could imagine the resources involved in following somebody on a frequent basis.”
He said a control order would help authorities limit others with extremist views from influencing her to commit a terror attack or fuelling her own ideologies because she was “naive”.
Mr Berger said Ms Abdirahman-Khalif was in contact with 22-year-old Maimuna Abdirahman Hussein in the lead-up to her failed terror attack in Mombasa, Kenya, on September 11, 2016.
Hussein and two other women entered the Mombasa Central Police Station armed with a knife, a petrol bomb and a suicide vest but were shot dead by police.
Two officers were injured.
“Rather than treating the deaths of these three women as a reason to step away from that — Ms Abdirahman-Khalif seemed to double-down on her ideology,” Mr Berger said.
He said she had “advanced notice” that Hussein would carry out the attack and did nothing to dissuade her.