A woman facing terrorism charges sent loving letters to another inmate before the object of her devotion allegedly stabbed a third inmate in a Victorian women’s prison.
Hadashah Sa’adat Khan was remanded into custody after being arrested on February 25 last year charged with performing a service for a person intending to engage in hostile activities in a foreign land for Islamic State.
The 23-year-old sought to be released on bail in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
Australian Federal Police Senior Constable Jan-Paul Antemes told the court police were concerned about her “loyalty” and “admiration” for another prisoner convicted of a serious terrorism offence.
The court heard the other woman — referred to as “S” in court — stabbed a prisoner in the hand with garden secateurs on October 30 in an attack motivated by extremist religious ideology.
“Tiny terrorist” Momena Shoma, 27, who is completing a 42-year jail sentence for stabbing her landlord in the neck while shouting “Allahu Akbar”, is facing a charge of stabbing another prisoner in the hand on October 30.
Ms Khan was seen on CCTV having a 10-minute personal conversation with the alleged attacker before the stabbing.
Police do not allege she was involved.
The court heard affectionate letters from both women to each other were found within the prison.
Ms Khan wrote that “in bed I cried so much I couldn’t breathe” while thinking about the woman, understood to be Shoma.
“Two years ago I was reading about you in the news, next thing, glory to God, I’m in the same unit as you,” she wrote.
“I love you to infinity and beyond.
“I say this from the depths of my heart, what a great blessing to have (you) who will pull me aside and tell me if I am disobeying Allah.”
In return, the woman understood to be Shoma said Ms Khan was exactly what was needed: “Young and passionate Muslims who are willing to surrender to the will of our maker.”
“May Allah make a way out for us all and grant us an imminent victory,” she wrote.
“May He guide, protect and honour our mujahideen.
“I eagerly look forward to share the fruits of jannah (heaven) with you, my beloved sister.”
She also talked about “green birdies”, a reference to the belief that the soul of a martyr will be carried to heaven in the stomach of a green bird.
The letters were exchanged in September and October last year, the court heard.
In opposing bail, Senior Constable Antemes said the letters showed Ms Khan had not recanted extremist Islamic beliefs.
He said she “expressed her support for martyrdom and physical violence.
“She was viewing extremist material online until the day before her arrest,” he said.
He also alleged she had been “untruthful” about the secret letters and denied they existed when questioned.
“She remains staunchly loyal to Prisoner S and has tried to conceal the closeness of their relationship from law enforcement authorities,” he said.
Ms Khan was remanded into prison after being arrested for allegedly helping a man, Akram Musleh, who wanted to marry her, to try to get to Syria from the US to join ISIS.
The man was arrested at John F Kennedy International Airport in New York on his way to Morocco, the court heard.
Police allege she “facilitated” his plans by “liaising with contacts” in June 2016 by putting him in touch with a personal sponsor within ISIS and setting up a social media account for him along with emotional and moral support.
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Her lawyer Rishi Nathwani said her parents offered “basically, their life savings” of $500,000 as surety if Ms Khan was granted bail to go back and live them at home while the case progressed.
He said if she was not in prison that would “remove her association” with her terrorist pen pal.
He asked the court to order she engage with the Islamic Council of Victoria as a deradicalisation approach.
The bail application will continue on March 1.
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