A young couple who dubbed themselves an “Islamic Bonnie and Clyde” are eligible for parole after being sentenced in the NSW Supreme Court.
In late 2015 and early 2016 Alo-Bridget Namoa and Sameh Bayda planned a street attack on non-Muslims.
It was never carried out but in October last year the couple were found guilty of planning a terrorist act.
Today Bayda was sentenced to a maximum four years in prison and Namoa three years and nine months — but after time served, both are now eligible for parole.
During the trial, texts were presented to court where Bayda talked about wanting to be a martyr and Namoa encouraged his desires to carry out a terror attack.
In his sentencing Justice Des Fagan said Bayda’s comments were the actions of an immature teen and Namoa was easily influenced.
“I find that his posturing to Namoa on New Year’s Eve to aggrandise the level of his commitment to Islamic militancy and his pretence that he faced martyrdom are manifestations of immaturity rather than deep fanaticism,” he said.
Namoa wore a hijab throughout her trial, but stopped wearing it during her sentence hearing in December.
Justice Fagan referred to a medical report where Namoa discussed how the couple renounced their fundamentalist views.
“(Namoa) told Dr Furst ‘I abandoned my extremist views over 12 months ago [by December 2017]… I have no interest in this s**t, this radical bulls**t anymore. … [Bayda] is Christian now. I want to follow him’,” Justice Fagan quoted.
“Namoa gave evidence that she continued to wear the hijab on advice of correctional staff, in order to conceal from other inmates that she is not practising the religion.”
Justice Fagan said he believed the pair were sincere in their renunciation but issued them a stern warning.
“I’ve taken you at your word, don’t let everybody down,” Justice Fagan said.
Outside court, Namoa’s mother said she would support her daughter through her rehabilitation.
“Of course, she’s my daughter,” she said.
Justice Fagan also said the Muslim community should more strongly denounce violent verses in the Quran.
“Assurances are from time to time offered to Western communities that ‘Islam is a religion of peace’,” he said.
“But in the absence of express public disavowal of verses which convey Allah’s command for violence, as quoted in the jihadist literature tendered in this case, such assurances are apparently contradicted.”