Mom Finds $9K Meant for ISIS in Son's Dirty Shorts: Prosecutor

Aussie youth to testify against 2 men allegedly trying to transfer money to militants
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2015 12:22 PM CST
Busted.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – In a case that had even the judge and prosecutor making money-laundering puns, a young Australian has been granted immunity for testifying against two men allegedly trying to send money to ISIS, the Guardian reports. The unnamed youth's role in the suspected crime: At the supposed directive of 23-year-old Omarjan Azari and 26-year-old Ali Al-Talebi, the witness, who reportedly met them at a Parramatta mosque, was supposed to transfer $9,000 via Western Union to ISIS operatives in September 2014. But he took the money back home when he was unsure if he should pay the fees and left the cash in his shorts pockets, where his mom found it when she was in his bedroom gathering clothes to wash, a Sydney court heard Monday. The purpose of the money—set to have been the third transfer the young man carried out—was to support ISIS "activities in Syria and Iraq," per Peter Neil, the case prosecutor. Azari was arrested in September 2014, notes, while Talebi was caught in December that year as part of a counterterrorism sweep, per the Australian.

Around 7,000 pages of recorded phone conversations were provided Monday to a Sydney court, which also heard that the witness was younger than the two suspects and supposedly under their influence, ABC Australia reports. Azari and Talebi were said to have made two transfers totaling $6,000 via the witness in August 2014, but Azari's lawyer maintained that there wasn't any evidence the cash was "ever received by any terrorist organization," per ABC. That didn't appear to sway Neil, who noted, "Whether [terrorists] got their hands on it or not is another question." The hearing will resume again on Wednesday, the Guardian notes. The witness has been given the OK to testify remotely since the court has received threats against him as an "apostate" who has "rolled over" to the side of the law, per the paper. (Speaking of ISIS money: The group has its own currency.)

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