Monday, December 14, 2015

Australia: Sydney woman discovered $9,000 meant for ISIS in her son's shorts

And — surprise, surprise — the teen was recruited at a mosque.
(Daily Mail) A Sydney youth will give evidence remotely out of fears for his safety after he 'rolled over' on two men accused of providing funds to Islamic State.

The youth, who cannot be named, will face court on Wednesday in a committal hearing for Omarjan Azari, 23, and Ali Al-Talebi, 26.

Both men have been charged with two counts of intentionally making funds available to a terrorist organisation, namely Islamic State, and one charge of attempting to make funds available.

Azari appeared in person at Sydney's Central Local Court on Monday for the first day of the week-long committal hearing, while Al-Talebi elected not to appear.

It's alleged the two men met the witness, who is younger than them, at Parramatta mosque and used him to transfer cash through Western Union branches to Islamic State in 2014.

Prosecutor Peter Neil, SC, told the court the youth was allegedly 'engaged by the defendants' to transfer $3000 at a Western Union on Parramatta on August 6 last year, and again at Auburn the following day.

'On September 8 there was an attempt by the same person at the behest, on the prosecution case, of the defendants to have another parcel of money of just under $10,000 sent from a money exchange in Sydney,' he said.

The transfer did not go ahead because the money, which was $9000 in US currency, would have attracted additional transfer fees.

Unsure of what to do, the youth took the money home and put it in a pair of shorts, which was then discovered by his mother 'quite to her surprise' while she was doing laundry, Mr Neil said.

It's alleged the pair were in contact with Islamic State through Australian man Mohammad Ali Baryalei who was believed to be in Syria in 2014.

'It comes down to the defendants, in a nutshell, gathering cash monies and using the prospective witness who was younger than them and, under the prosecution case, under their sway, to make these deposits in circumstances where intercepted calls reflect that the purpose of the transfer of those funds out of Australia was to end up supporting Islamic State activities in Syria and Iraq,' Mr Neil said.

Azari's lawyer Steven Boland told the court that there was evidence the funds allegedly transferred to Syria were never actually available to Islamic State.

He read from several statements in the police brief indicating the money was 'stranded'.

The youth is expected to give his evidence remotely when he hearing resumes on Wednesday.