Australian court discharges wife of ISIS militant on conditions

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – An Australian court discharged on Wednesday a woman who was convicted of traveling to an area controlled by the Islamic State group (ISIS) in Syria to join her husband, conditionally.

The ABC News in Australia reported that Goulburn Local Court discharged Mariam Raad, 32, on the condition of good behavior for the next 25 months.

Raad was the wife of Muhammad Zahab, who was believed to have been a senior ISIS fighter. Zahab left Australia in 2013 and is believed to have died in 2018.

Raad was arrested in January 2023 for traveling to an ISIS-controlled area in 2014. In May, she pleaded guilty to the charges.

She was repatriated to Australia in October 2022 from Roj camp in northeastern Syria along with three other women and 13 children of families of ISIS militants.

Roj camp holds about 727 families, numbering 2,310 individuals including 1,582 children. All of which are families of ISIS militants who were either killed in battles with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) or surrendered and are now in detention centers under the control of the SDF.

ISIS lost its final stronghold in Syria in March 2019. The SDF, with the support of the U.S.-led Global Coalition defeated the group after fierce battles in the town of Baghuz in the eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor, eastern Syria, bringing an end to ISIS’ self-proclaimed caliphate.

After Baghuz, thousands of ISIS fighters were transferred to prisons and detention centers, while their families were transferred to Hawl and Roj camps in areas run by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES).

The AANES continues to call on the international community to either repatriate their nationals or support establishing rehabilitation centers and help in tackling the security situation in the facilities were ISIS foreign nationals are held.

The issue of ISIS militants in Northeast Syria raises significant questions about their future and the international community’s response. Convicting and trying these individuals has become an urgent concern, yet the efforts to conduct trials have encountered numerous obstacles and challenges.

By Ster Youssef