A Muslim woman who chatted to jihadi brides online and had knowledge of a terror attack before it happened did not understand that she was a member of Islamic State, a court heard.
Zainab Abdirahman-Khalif, 23, appeared in Adelaide Supreme Court on Tuesday, after she was found guilty of membership of a terrorist organisation earlier this year.
The court heard how she had become a member of the Islamic State terror group after becoming disconnected with her peers.
Zainab Abdirahman-Khalif (pictured), 23, chatted to jihadi brides online and had knowledge of a number of terrorist attacks before they happened, but ‘does not see herself as a member of Islamic State’
Dr Loraine Lim, a forensic psychologist, told the court Abdirahman-Khalif dropped out of university, became disconnected from her peers and turned to the internet as her only social outlet.
‘Her interactions with her family were also breaking down around the same time,’ she said.
During the trial, the court heard Abdirahman-Khalif was stopped by police at Adelaide Airport after she tried to board a plane to Istanbul in July 2016.
Carrying only hand luggage and less than $200 in cash, she told officers she intended to work for an aid organisation, and expected her living expenses and the cost of a flight home would be covered.
Abdirahman-Khalif was later released, but arrested at the Port Adelaide TAFE SA campus in May 2017, following a year-long investigation.
Abdirahman-Khalif had become disconnected from her peers and only socialised over the internet after dropping out of university. She was stopped by police at Adelaide Airport in 2016 and arrested nearly a year later
The Supreme Court heard she had been in communication with three young women and knew about their deadly terror attack on a police station in Kenya before it occurred
In evidence, a counter-terrorism police officer said 127 video files of ‘investigative relevance’ were found on her phone, and the jury was played a compilation of violent scenes.
The court also heard she had been in communication with three young women and knew about their deadly terror attack on a police station in Kenya before it occurred.
Her lawyer, Bill Boucaut SC, said on Tuesday she ‘does not understand the legal concept of membership and does not see herself as a member of Islamic State’.
He said the court should consider what Abdirahman-Khalif had actually done.
‘The whole nut of the offence was travelling on a one-way ticket to Turkey with a view to moving on to Syria, so said the prosecution, with a view to engaging in ISIS,’ he said.
‘Other than that, it was not suggested in any way, shape or form that she was going to engage in acts of violent terrorism.’
Abdirahman-Khalif will not give evidence during the sentencing process.