Australia’s first jihadist bride has had her Australian citizenship formally restored, with taxpayers paying her legal fees.
Zehra Duman, a former student at Isik College Keysborough in Melbourne, became a notorious online supporter of ISIS after moving to Syria in 2014 to marry Melbourne jihadist Mahmoud Abdullatif.
Abdullatif, known as the ‘jihadist playboy’, was assassinated in 2015 and Duman is believed to have married two more times to other ISIS fighters.
Duman was a key ISIS recruiter on social media, posing with machine guns and on the hoods of luxury cars stolen by terrorists as she urged other Westerners to abandon civilization and join her deadly Islamic regime.
She also sent a threatening message to a Daily Mail reporter after she was contacted about a series of worrying posts she made on Twitter in 2015.
Australia’s first jihadist bride, Zehra Duman (pictured), has formally regained her Australian citizenship
Mahmoud Abdullatif, known as the ‘jihadist playboy’, was assassinated in 2015 and Duman is believed to have married two more times to other ISIS fighters.
In 2019, Duman was notified that his Australian citizenship had been refused as a result of his membership in and support for ISIS.
She filed an appeal for herself and her two children in 2020.
The case was not formally settled until last week, when the High Court signed a consent order which read: “The court finds that the first applicant is an Australian citizen.”
The Commonwealth of Australia, as defendant, has been ordered to pay its legal fees, according to the aussie.
Duman and her family are understood to have been living in Turkey after she escaped from ISIS’s al-Hawl detention camp for families in 2021 and crossed the Turkey-Syria border.
She was arrested but released shortly after in the community.
During his time in Syria, Duman used social media to advocate for the attacks in the West, calling for opponents of the ISIS regime to be killed and for attacks to be launched in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
In 2015, Duman sent a threatening message to a Daily Mail reporter after she was contacted for comment.
She told Daily Mail Australia at the time: ‘All you have to know is that the next time he enters Australia, that’s when we come and make him part of the Islamic State bi’thnillah.
‘Oh, and I miss my family? Well, I think you’ll soon be missing yours (sic). Thank you and have a great day mate!’
Duman sent a threatening message to a Daily Mail reporter on January 22, 2015 (pictured)
Duman was a key ISIS recruiter on social media, posing with machine guns and on the hoods of stolen luxury cars.
Duman left Melbourne at the age of 19 to join the terrorist group. In the image: Duman with humanitarian workers
Duman’s restoration of citizenship comes nearly a year after the federal government told his legal team that it would not contest his claim to have his citizenship restored.
It followed the liquidation of the previous coalition government’s citizenship cessation laws in June last year, which the High Court found invalid because they were based on a ministerial rather than a judicial decision.
The collapse of the laws meant that around a dozen ISIS fighters, members and sympathizers were eligible to regain their citizenship immediately.
While Duman’s was the first such appeal filed against the laws, the case that struck down the legislation involved Delil Alexander, who is jailed in the Syrian capital of Damascus.
His family launched an appeal for him and his case was confirmed in June last year.
Both Alexander and Duman have dual Turkish-Australian nationality.
The government intends to plug the gap left by the end of citizenship cessation laws with legislation that would require a court order to strip dual-national Australians of citizenship.
Propaganda images on social media showed a number of extremist women standing under an Islamic State flag.
In 2015, a Twitter account believed to be run by Duman posted photos of ISIS women carrying assault rifles and standing next to luxury cars, head to toe in Islamic clothing.
In a tweet, Duman said: ‘USA. USA + Australia, how does it feel that the 5 of us were born and raised on your land, and now we are here thirsty for your blood?’
In other tweets, Duman called for violence against ‘Kuffars,’ or non-Muslims.
‘Stab them and poison them. Poison your teachers, go to haram restaurants and poison food in large quantities,” he wrote.
ISIS was finally defeated in 2018 after several years of fighting in Iraq and Syria.
The defeat displaced thousands of jihadist brides who had fled their home countries to join the fight and marry ISIS soldiers.