9 May 2024

'ISIS bride' from regional NSW admits entering terrorist-controlled area

| Albert McKnight
Man and woman

Mariam Raad is the widow of ISIS recruiter, Muhammad Zahab. Photo: ABC.

A so-called ‘ISIS bride’ from regional NSW has pleaded guilty after she was accused of entering parts of Syria that were under the control of the Islamic State terrorist organisation.

Mariam Raad, a 32-year-old from the Hilltops town of Young, pleaded guilty to a charge of entering or remaining in a declared area when she faced the Goulburn Local Court on Wednesday (8 May).

This charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years’ jail.

Her bail was continued and the matter was adjourned for her sentencing on 12 June.

Police had originally alleged that Raad willingly travelled to an IS-controlled area of Syria in 2014 to join her husband, Muhammad Zahab.

Zahab left Australia in 2013, joined IS and was reportedly killed by an airstrike in 2018.

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Police said Raad had been in the Al Roj Internally Displaced Persons camp in Syria before she returned to Australia in October 2022.

The NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team began investigating her while she was still in Syria, then continued to do so when she returned to Australia.

Raad was granted bail after she was charged in January 2023, then prosecutors announced they were seeking more information later that year.

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