Aerial view of Brisbane city, including Brisbane airport international terminal pic Lyndon Mechielsen 13/2/04
Aerial view of Brisbane city, including Brisbane airport international terminal pic Lyndon Mechielsen 13/2/04

One-way ticket: Alleged ISIS supporter arrested at airport

A man who was arrested by counter terrorism police at a Brisbane airport last year has been granted bail, despite police concerns that he was trying to fly overseas to fight on behalf of ISIS.

Raghe Mohamed Abdi, 21, had a radicalised belief system and his mother said he had told her he had believed in ISIS since he was 14, a court was told by counsel for the Commonwealth.

Abdi was waiting to board a flight to Somalia in May, last year, with a one-way ticket, when he was arrested at Brisbane International Airport by a Queensland joint counterterrorist group.

He was suspected of making preparations for incursion into foreign countries, for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities, although he has not been charged over it, Brisbane Magistrates Court heard.

 

Abdi was waiting to board a flight to Somalia in May, last year, with a one-way ticket, when he was arrested at Brisbane International Airport.
Abdi was waiting to board a flight to Somalia in May, last year, with a one-way ticket, when he was arrested at Brisbane International Airport.

A friend of Abdi, who drove him to the airport, said in a statement Abdi had given him his mobile phone to destroy, telling him: "There are things that are not supposed to be on there''.

The phone was destroyed, and police later were unable to recover any information from it, the court heard on Thursday.

Abdi has been charged with two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice, between June and July, last year.

The charges relate to alleged attempts by Abdi to have his mother and a friend change or withdraw their statements to police.

He also was charged with failing to comply with an order, on June 14, last year, an offence under the Crimes Act, relating to his alleged failure to provide phone access information.

Deborah Holliday, for Commonwealth prosecutions, opposed bail, saying there was a risk that Abdi would fail to reappear in court or reoffend.

Ms Holliday said Abdi had bought a one-way ticket to Somalia and lied to police that his mother was going to buy him a return ticket.

She said he told his mother he believed in ISIS, but his family were nonbelievers and he could not live with them anymore.

Police allege he had a wiped laptop and three mobile telecommunication devices with him at the airport.

Terry O'Gorman, for Abdi, said he told Federal Police he was only going to Somalia for a month, he was not a supporter of terrorist groups and did not intend to take part in a foreign conflict.

Mr O'Gorman said Abdi's friend told police between 2016 and 2018 he and Abdi and another person had discussed going to Saudi Arabia and Sudan to study.

"It had nothing to do with terrorism, or a terror-related offence,'' Mr O'Gorman said.

Abdi has already spent 414 days in custody.

Magistrate Stephen Courtney granted bail on several conditions, including that Abdi wear a tracking device and abide by a curfew between 11pm and 6am, while living with his father.

He is not allowed to approach an international departure point or apply for another passport, he can only use one smart phone and must give police access details.

 

Originally published as One-way ticket: Alleged ISIS supporter arrested at airport


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