Young man pleads guilty to terrorism-related charges

Haisem Zahab arrested.
Haisem Zahab arrested.

A former Young resident accused of supporting the terror group ISIS has pleaded guilty to terrorism offences before a Sydney magistrate. 

Haisem Zahab, 42, fronted Parramatta Local Court last week and pleaded guilty to giving or receiving goods to promote a section 119.1 offence.

Section 119.1 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code relates to Australian citizens and residents engaging in hostile activities in foreign countries.

A second count of the same charge was withdrawn by the Crown.

Zahab also entered a plea of guilty to failing to comply with an order to assist with access to data. 

The Australian-born electrician was arrested and charged in February last year for allegedly attempting to the research, design, and model a long-range missile and a guidance system for the missile and design a laser warning device for Islamic State.

He appeared before Magistrate Peter Dare at Young Local on Tuesday, Feburary 20 last year and was denied bail.

He’s been behind bars since. 

AFP Assistant Commissioner Counter Terrorism Ian McCartney said the arrest followed more than 18 months of complex investigations.

“We know that gathering evidence in these cases takes a considerable amount of time,” Assistant Commissioner McCartney said last year.

“Make no mistake, anyone allegedly supporting foreign fighters – whether through travelling to conflict zones, or by their actions here on Australian soil – remain firmly in the sights of law enforcement.”

Under the Commonwealth Criminal Code, the offences Zahab committed carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. 

Zahab spent time at Junee Correctional Facility before being moved to Supermax at Goulburn in March last year.

Zahab will face the Supreme Court of Sydney on Friday, December 7 for sentencing.