AU NSW: Police Arrest Woman Suspected of Terrorism February 23
A teenage Muslim convert who allegedly wanted to be the “Bonnie” of a jihadi “Bonnie and Clyde” has been charged with terror-related offences.
The 18-year-old woman was being held at a western Sydney police station where officers plan to charge her with recklessly possessing “a thing connected to a terrorist act” and “recklessly collecting documents connected to a terrorist act”.
The claims are understood to relate to allegedly having in her possession a knife wrapped in an Islamic flag.
The woman is understood to be Alo-Bridget Namoa, the wife of Sameh Bayda, who is facing three charges of collecting documents likely to facilitate terrorist acts.
“We are not dealing with any new specific threat,” Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn told reporters in Sydney.
Police said the woman has previously been charged with 31 counts of failing to answer NSW Crime Commission questions, effectively identifying her since Ms Namoa was earlier this month bailed on those charges.
On those refusing to answer questions charges, prosecutors alleged Ms Namoa sent a text message referring to herself and her husband as “jihadi Bonnie and Clyde”, and claim extremist propaganda and bomb-building instructions were found on her phone.
In a bail hearing related to those earlier charges, police prosecutor Sergeant David Anderson opposed bail saying Ms Namoa was an Islamic State sympathiser and a risk to the community.
But Ms Namoa’s lawyer Sophie Toomey described the prosecution’s case as “slightly hysterical”, and she was released on bail under strict conditions including that she stay at home with her Catholic mother.
Mr Bayda remains in custody at Goulburn on the documents charges, which allegedly include instructions on how to commit a stabbing attack and make a bomb.
At the lunchtime press conference police said the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team arrested the woman at 10am in Guildford in Sydney’s west, and she is expected to face court later today.
Police said the woman was previously the subject of a firearm prohibition order served on January 13, at which time a number of items were seized.
“The message is that we are working around the clock (on anything) that may be related to terrorist activity,” Ms Burn said.
“We now have two people before the courts … persistence pays off.”
“Today’s another demonstration that we are not going to go away,” she said, adding that police appreciated the value of information from the community.
Ms Burn was questioned as to why Ms Namoa was not charged with terrorism offences when she was weeks ago facing charges of refusing to answer questions at a NSW Crime Commission hearing.
“We seize material, we examine it and collate the evidence. When we are convinced that we have enough evidence to put before the court, that’s what we’ll do,” she said.
Asked by a journalist whether today’s arrest of the woman was retribution for not giving information against her husband, Ms Burn said police took information to deal with any threat to the public.