The ISIS bride and widow of Australia’s most senior Islamic State terrorist has been granted bail in court this morning after spending the night in police cells.
Mariam Raad, 31, will be released from police custody after appearing via video link from the Wagga cells in Griffith.
Her release comes after she was arrested in Orange and charged with entering or remaining in an area controlled by the Islamic State group in 2014.
She returned to Australia in October last year, and at the time, Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said the repatriation was informed by national security advice.
The 31-year-old applied for bail based on ‘exceptional circumstances’, telling the court she and her children have post-traumatic stress disorder because of their time in Syria.
As part of her bail conditions, she is required to report to the Young Police Station once daily, surrender her passport, and not enter any international airport.
After being arrested, Ms Raad was accommodated in the cells directly across the road from Wagga’s popular Romano’s Hotel, which was belting out music and the sound of revelry until well past midnight.
It is just ten weeks since Ms Raad was repatriated back to Australia from a refugee camp in northeastern Syria with three other ISIS brides and 13 children.
She is the mother of four children with Sydney maths teacher-turned-Islamic State militant Muhammad Zahab, a prominent terrorist recruiter and Australia’s most senior IS figure, who died in a targeted air strike in Syria in 2018.
Ms Raad was arrested after police raids in both Young and at Parklea, Western Sydney, home of her sister-in-law and fellow ISIS bride, Mariam Dabboussy.
Mariam Raad (right, with her IS terrorist husband who died in Syria in 2018) has soent the night in police cells opposite a noisy pub in country NSW
Mariam Raad was inside the Wagga police cells (above) on Friday morning where she had spent the night waiting to appear via AVL to apply for bail
The mother of two sons aged between ten and 12 and two daughters born in Syria, is charged with entering and remaining in Syria under the control of the Islamic State terrorist organisation.
Police allege Ms Raad travelled to Syria in early 2014 to reunite with Muhammad Zahab, who had left Australia in 2013 to join the fight for Islamic State.
Zahab lured dozens of family members including Dabboussy’s husband Kaled Zahab and his parents Hicham and Aminah to Syria before Kaled’s death in 2015 and then his own.
Hicham Zahab is in jail in Syria and his wife Aminah is among another three cohorts of 41 Australian ISIS wives, widows and children hoping in the near future to leave Syrian camps and board planes back home.
Police allege Ms Raad knew her husband’s activities with Islamic State and, of her own free will joined him and lived with him in the city of Raqqa until his death, after which she was taken to two different displacement camps where other Aussie ISIS brides were living.
Mariam Raad was in the cells directly opposite Romano’s Hotel which belted out music and revelry until 1am, after police ferried her to Wagga police station too late for a hearing on Thursday afternoon
Mariam Raad, 31, has been charged for allegedly leaving Australian shores to fight for Islamic state months after being rescued from a refugee camp
Police will allege Ms Raad travelled to Syria in early 2014 to join her husband Muhammed, who left Australia in 2013, to join the fight for Islamic State
Muhammad Zahab (pictured) was a prolific Islamic State recruiter who lured dozens of his family members to Syria before he was killed in a targeted airstrike in 2018
Ms Raad was one of the 17 women and children rescued from Syria and resettled back in Australia last October after police deemed them to be no threat to the nation.
Ms Raad was arrested following a joint investigation by the Australian Federal Police and the NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT).
In a statement, the JCTT said ‘newly obtained evidence’ had led to Ms Raaad being charged.
AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism and Special Investigations Command Sandra Booth said Australians returning from declared conflict areas will be investigated in order to ensure the public’s safety.
‘Individuals will be brought before the courts when evidence supports allegations that returned individuals have committed offences in conflict areas,’ Acting Assistant Commissioner Booth said.
‘The JCTT will continue to target (alleged) criminal activity and does not target specific ideologies or beliefs.’
NSW Police Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton, said the NSW JCTT will continue to protect the community from those they believe pose a threat.
Ms Raad will face Wagga Wagga Local court on Friday. If found guilty she could spend up to 10 years behind bars
‘We have zero tolerance for Australians – or anyone – who seek to commit acts of violence or extremism, and those considering doing the wrong thing will come under our notice,’ Assistant Commissioner Walton said.
‘Our investigators methodically gather information and evidence, conduct surveillance and work tirelessly to target criminal activities which pose a threat to the Australian community.’
Ms Raad will face Wagga Wagga Local court on Friday.
If found guilty she could spend up to 10 years behind bars.
Ms Raad spent more than three years detained in al-Hol and al-Roj camps before being repatriated to Sydney.
The mother of four previously told The Australian while situated in a refugee camp that she posed no threat to Australians (pictured: al roj camp in northeast Syria)
The mother of four previously told The Australian while in a refugee camp that she was ready to come home.
‘I want to go back (to Australia),’ Ms Raad said.
‘I want my kids to have a chance at a real future.
‘I’m stressed. It’s not easy being a single mother with four children in a camp. The boys are growing older and I go to sleep every night imagining they will be taken away from me.’
The group of repatriated women released a statement in October after landing in Australia.
‘We are willing to do whatever is asked of us by government authorities to ensure the safety of our families and the Australian community and we will fully cooperate with all Australian law enforcement agencies,’ the women said.
Another 43 women and children are still at the Syrian refugee camp and are hoping to be repatriated back to Australia some time this year.