Teenage bride of Australian terror suspect arrested

Sydney, Feb 23 (IANS) The teenage bride of an Australian terror suspect was arrested by counter-terrorism police on Tuesday for possessing documents connected to an attack.

New South Wales (NSW) counter-terrorism authorities arrested the teenaged bride, wife of terrorism suspect Sameh Bayda who is currently in custody, Xinhua reported.

Bayda was arrested and charged with three counts of collecting documents likely to have facilitated terror attacks in late January.

Alo-Bridget Namoa, 18, was already on bail relating to 31 charges of failing to answer questions during a NSW Crime Commission hearing in relation to her husband’s charges.

Deputy Commissioner for counter-terror Catherine Burn said it was alleged that the bride possessed a knife and documents relating to a terror attack.

“I really stress that this is not a fresh matter, there is no new specific threat that we are dealing with,” Catherine Burn said on Tuesday.

“These are connected to previous matters that have been put before the courts.”

When asked why the teenager was not arrested earlier this month when she was charged with the 31 counts of failing to answer questions, Burn said: “We seize material, we examine it and collate the evidence.”

“When we are convinced that we have enough evidence to put before the court, that’s what we’ll do,” Burn said.

It was understood that the pair were subjects of Firearm Prohibition Orders, prohibiting them from owning firearms and allowing police to search their homes without a warrant.

When Namoa was served the order on January 13, the police found the knife wrapped in an Islamic State flag in her handbag, a mobile phone filled with IS propaganda and information on how to make an improvised explosive device.

Australia has been on heightened alert for attacks by home-grown radicals since September 2014.

So far the authorities have arrested numerous terror suspects, 11 in Sydney alone, in connection with domestic terror plots.

In early December 2015, Australian counter-terrorism authorities arrested two youths — a 20-year-old and a 15-year-old — in connection with an alleged plot targeting Australian government buildings, including the Australian Federal Police (AFP) headquarters in Sydney.

The two youths and three others already in jail on related charges are believed to be associates — though there were yet no direct links — of those who radicalised a teenager who executed police accountant Curtis Cheng in early October 2015.

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