Sydney Terrorism Police have arrested the 18-year-old Tongan teen bride suspected of being a supporter of ISIS and alleged planning terror attack in Sydney.
Alo-Bridget Namoa of Auburn was arrested at the home of a relative about 10.30am Wednesday 23 in the western Sydney suburb of Guildford by a team of counter-terrorism police.
The arrest according to police did not relate to any “new specific threat” but rather the ongoing investigations of counter terrorism police.
Namoa is the first Tongan woman to be arrested in relation to terrorist activities. She is also the second woman in Australia’s history to be charged with terrorism offences, after Fatima Elomar, wife of the late Islamic State fighter, Mohamed Elomar, admitted supporting his involvement in armed hostilities in Syria.
The Tongan international community responded with mixed reaction to Namoa’s alleged terrorist involvement, with many expressed their shock a Tongan teen, married and originally belong to a Christian family can get involved in such global violent activities, while others stood by her and asked the community to pray for Namoa.
She is expected to be charged with recklessly possessing an item connected to a terrorist act and recklessly collecting documents connected to a terrorist act.
Namoa was bailed out last month after she has been charged with 31 counts of refusing to answer questions about why her and her husband, Sameh Bayda, were downloading Islamic State propaganda.
One of the questions she refused to answer was why she sent a text message to her husband referring to themselves as a “jihadi Bonnie and Clyde”.
Refusing to answer questions in court is an offence in Sydney that carries a maximum penalty of two years’ jail.
Her Lawyer said Namoa who married an alleged terrorist and is now facing possible jail time herself, is just a “troubled” girl who loves Bayda, who she married in December last year. Bayda faced terror charges for allegedly collecting documents on how to commit a stabbing and make a bomb, theDaily Telegraph reported.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported Crown Prosecutor David Anderson said the text message showed Namoa was a “willing participant” and not influenced by her husband.
According to Sydney media, “Her family are absolutely devastated, they are shocked at the way things transpired”. “They were helping her in every way they could to comply with her bail and there is no suggestion she was not complying with bail.”