Australia’s first ISIS jihadi bride jailed
Australian jihadist and mum of two Zehra Duman has been sentenced to three years jail by a Turkish court for being a member of Islamic State.
The move came after she fled to Turkey in July from the Syrian Kurdish run al-Hawl refugee camp where she was living with her toddlers and 67 other Australian ISIS brides and children awaiting to return to Australia.
But the dual Turkish-Australian citizen was arrested when she crossed the border and has been prosecuted for actively recruiting other brides to join ISIS, including women from Australia, and running a high profile social media campaign advocating violence in the name of Allah.
She had already been stripped of her Australian citizenship in October 2019 but had been fighting in the High Court since April to have it returned to her and her children.
Her Australian lawyers declined to comment about that case and her now jailing in Turkey, details of which remain unclear.
It is known she was advised she was to face a criminal case but had applied for bail and was hopeful of that coming through at a hearing this month.
It is understood her mother Ozlem Coskun, who normally lives in Melbourne, was in Turkey for the hearing and now has custody of her daughter's children, son Jarrah aged four years and a one-year-old girl Layla. She has been in contact with DFAT and the Australian embassy.
The children were subject to DNA testing during her being held in Turkey in the last month, to ascertain who their fathers were.
The Melbourne woman became Australia's first ISIS bride when she fled to the self-declared ISIS capital Raqqa in Syria in December 2014 aged 21 years and married fellow Aussie jihadist Mahmoud Abdullatif.
There she began a social media campaign to promote the terrorist group and call for jihadist to kill nonbelievers wherever they were.
Her husband was killed in battle in Syria one month after they married, as she was pregnant with their child, but she later married another unnamed Australian ISIS fighter who was also killed. She has been married to three jihadists.
The offices of both Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton would not comment.
It is understood the 26-year-old Duman, who was born in Melbourne, appeared at the Turkish border in the province of Sanliurfa on July 17 and was being held in jail there pending the outcome of her case. It is unknown what permanent jail she is to be moved to.
Her High Court challenge to the stripping of her citizenship began was due to be heard in coming weeks and will continue to be pursued on her behalf by human rights lawyers however they have advised since her move to Turkey they had been unable to get critical documents to her despite repeated attempts.
The case was to be the first of its kind and being fought on the basis that if you are born in Australia and have parents who are Australian citizens at the time of your birth then you remain an Australian regardless of alleged crimes. Legislation introduced however declares citizenship can be cancelled from dual nationals if they fight for an enemy force or partake in certain criminal activities.
A dozen Australians have so far been stripped of citizenship under this legislation.
According to earlier court proceedings, she had been assessed by ASIO to be a danger where ISIS women were seen not as sex objects but "mothers to the next generation and guardians of ISIS ideology".
"She (Duman) states in her social media platforms that she misses nothing about Australia and encourages others to make hijra to the Caliphate," an Administrative Appeals Tribunal into jihadi brides heard.
"If they do not, she warns, they are only adding fuel to the fire which will mean attacks on your soil. Her narrative of her social media platforms is often interspersed with references to the obligatory nature of residence within the ISIS for those who are practising Muslims and to its capabilities as an organisation. In this way, she is encouraging migration and also drawing a connection between herself and lone wolf attacks on home soil."
Originally published as Australia's first ISIS jihadi bride jailed