Australian woman gets bail after arrest for entering Islamic State area


Sydney (Reuters) – An Australian court granted conditional bail on Friday to a woman arrested on charges of entering and remaining in areas of Syria held by the militant group Islamic State.

Police arrested 31-year-old Mariam Raad on Thursday, saying she willingly travelled to Syria in early 2014 to join her husband, fully aware he was an active member of the Islamist militant group.

Her husband is believed to have died in Syria in 2018, they added.

Australian law deems it an offence to enter or stay in areas where the government has declared “a listed terrorist organisation is engaging in a hostile activity”, setting punishments of up to 10 years in jail.

Raad’s bail conditions included that she surrender her passport, report to police every Monday and not communicate with associates of “terrorist organisations”, the court said.

Raad returned to Australia from the Al Roj camp for displaced people in northeast Syria in October, when the government controversially repatriated 17 women and children related to dead or jailed Islamic State fighters.

The court set a date of March 15 to next consider the matter.

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