The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and South Australia Police have arrested a 22-year-old South Australian woman who has been charged with a terrorism offence, that being membership of the terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS).
Members of the South Australian Joint Counter Terrorism Team, comprising of the Australian Federal Police, South Australia Police and the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation commenced an investigation into the woman’s alleged activities in 2016, which led to search warrants being conducted today on a property in Adelaide’s western suburbs and her subsequent arrest.
It is expected that the woman will be charged with the following:
- Membership of a terrorist organisation, namely Islamic State, contrary to section 102.3 of the Criminal Code (Cth) being a Commonwealth offence that is punishable on conviction by a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
Police will allege that she cultivated relationships with Islamic State members online, and that she pledged her allegiance to this terrorist organisation.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Ian McCartney, National Manager Counter Terrorism, said that the age demographic of people identifying as supporting IS continues to be alarming for law enforcement.
“It is concerning that people so young remain susceptible to extremist ideologies and are willing to engage in criminal activities that attract significant penalties,” Assistant Commissioner McCartney said.
“We target criminals and criminal activity, not ideologies or backgrounds. The Joint Counter Terrorism Team will closely examine any individual that supports an extremist group. ”
South Australia Police Deputy Commissioner Linda Williams said today’s arrest had been made as a result of excellent co-operative work being done by police and intelligence agencies across Australia.
“I would like to emphasise to the South Australian community that the accused has been charged with membership of a terrorism organisation, not with specifically planning any attack. There is no known ongoing threat to the community.
“South Australia Police will continue to work with our partner agencies to ensure the safety of the public, including those from a range of faiths, and I would remind the community that police will not tolerate acts of violence or threats targeting any specific group within our community.
“Our community should feel reassured that this investigation has been thorough and is being fully supported by all responsible agencies.”
Today’s activities do not relate to any planned terrorist attack in Australia.
Anyone concerned that someone they know is being radicalised or is preparing to travel to Syria or Iraq to fight is urged to come forward – no matter how small or insignificant they think the information may be. The National Security Hotline number is 1800 123 400, and people providing information can remain anonymous.
Source The Australian Federal Police (AFP) Police Video Link