16-year-old Australian schoolgirl admits transferring $10,000 to Islamic State fighters to support terror activities
Mar 24, 2016 08:59 PM EDT
A 16-year-old Sydney school girl who was arrested for transferring money to the Islamic State to support the group's terrorism activities appeared in court Wednesday to face charges on terror financing.
The minor, whose identity has been withheld, is accused of facilitating the wiring of thousands of dollars to the Islamic State in Syria through the Western Union money transfer service. The girl and her 20-year-old male accomplice were arrested on Tuesday during a counter-terrorism raid by the local police.
According to BBC, the duo met on Tuesday to discuss a plan to send funds to the militant group in Syria on the same day. They had previously completed several successful transfers through a "sophisticated facilitation path" before they were apprehended by authorities.
The 20-year-old was identified as Milad Atai who was previously arrested in a counter-terrorism raid in September 2014. Atai reportedly gave the 16-year-old the money they were supposed to transfer when they were arrested on Tuesday.
ABC News wrote that Atai is reportedly a member of a young group of IS supporters in Sydney that is sourcing guns and grooming teenagers to participate in terror-related undertakings.
The female minor admitted to transferring $10,000 to ISIS in February, The Guardian reported. When asked if the money would go to the terrorist group, the teen agreed and added that she was merely following orders from a certain Islamic State fighter named Ahmed Merhi.
"The young person indicated that she sent some money to Syria via Lebanon, and that she knew the money would go to Islamic State, that Merhi [was known to her]," said commonwealth prosecutor Imad Abdul-Karim in court. "It was agreed that she would take delivery of the $5,000 with a view to ... facilitating the sending of that money overseas."
It was alleged that since she was a minor and could not be allowed to engage in such money transfers, she perhaps had a contact that would facilitate the process on her behalf.
The 16-year-old is planning to apply for bail in Parramatta Children's Court. Atai remains under investigation for his involvement in a fatal shooting that took place last year.