Alleged Islamic State terrorist group member admitted to being caught ‘red handed’ by police
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- Zainab Abdirahman-Khalif Zainab Abdirahman-Khalif is a 24-year-old from Adelaide woman who chatted to...[+]
A woman accused of being part of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group told police she was unaware of how images of beheadings ended up on her mobile phone, an Adelaide court has heard.
Zainab Abdirahman–Khalif, 23, is on trial in South Australia’s Supreme Court after pleading not guilty to knowingly being a member of the Islamic State terrorist organisation between July 2016 and May 2017.
The court today was told she was heard on a listening device, that was planted in her home, admitting she was caught “red handed” by police with a photo on her phone, although it was not specified what that particular photo depicted.
The court heard she was detained at Adelaide Airport in July 2016 after buying a one-way ticket online to fly from Adelaide to Istanbul.
It heard she took only carry-on luggage and $170 in savings, which the prosecution alleges was not enough to return home.
She was interviewed by detectives and placed under arrest for attempting to enter a declared area, but the court heard she was never charged with that offence and was released from custody the following morning.
Prosecutor Chris Winneke QC said police later searched her family’s Mansfield Park home and planted listening devices.
On the second day of his opening address, Mr Winneke said that in September 2016, Ms Abdirahman–Khalif was recorded on a listening device talking to someone about police searching her home.
Mr Winneke said the defendant discussed deleting photos, books, history and video material and told the person she was taking to: “The men caught me red handed, the screenshot you sent me.”
“The discussion involves uploading pictures in Telegram, writings in Arabic and others leaving countries using other people’s identification to board a boat to Yemen,” he said.
The court heard Ms Abdirahman–Khalif was interviewed by police detectives in February 2017.
“She said it was rubbish that she was a member of IS,” Mr Winneke said.
“She did concede that she was aware that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was the leader of [IS].
Mr Winneke said in a text conversation Ms Abdirahman-Khalif had described herself as “muwahideen”, which was how members of IS referred to themselves.
“In a discussion concerning her being in Adelaide she wrote: ‘Qadarallah, it was my destiny for me to be here sis … there are not a lot of muwahideen, just me’.”
She was arrested and charged with knowingly being a member of a terrorist organisation in May 2017.
The jury was played an interview recording where Ms Abdirahman-Khalif can be heard telling counter-terrorism officers after her detainment at Adelaide Airport that she was traveling to Turkey for a holiday and to find aid work.
When asked if she knew of any aid organisations in Turkey she said she could not remember the name.
She said she had not contacted any aid organisations because she thought she would do that once she got there.
The court heard her parents were “shocked” when they were told she had been detained trying to leave the country because they thought she was at university.
Mr Winneke previously told the court Ms Abdirahman-Khalif had quit her studies at the University of South Australia to “follow a different path”.