A gavel is seen in a hearing room in Panama City April 7, 2016. court judge hammer
A gavel is seen in a hearing room in Panama City April 7, 2016. Reuters/Carlos Jasso

A 23-year-old woman in Adelaide has been found guilty of being an Islamic State member. A jury of five women and seven men at the Supreme Court in South Australia reached a unanimous verdict after three hours of deliberation on Monday, saying Zainab Abdirahman-Khalif had joined the terrorist organisation.

The court has previously heard that Abdirahman-Khalif was stopped by police at Adelaide Airport in July 2016 after she attempted to board a plane to Istanbul. She was carrying a hand luggage and $170 in cash. She said she would be working for an aid organisation, thus expecting her living expenses would be covered. She was released without charge.

She was arrested again in May 2017 by the Australian Federal Police following a year-long investigation. The court was told that there were 378 audio files associated with IS found on her phone, as well as 125 videos from an IS media organisation, 62 of which contained extremist materials, the ABC reports. She was also in communication with three young African women who carried out a bombing in Mombasa, Kenya, in September 2016. The act was later claimed by IS.

Prosecutor Chris Winneke QC said Abdirahman-Khalif had wholly aligned herself with the ideologies of IS and had taken a step further to become a member of the terrorist group.

“She set off to go to Turkey, to engage with terrorists in the view of lending her support to Islamic State,” he told the court in his closing. “In doing so, she became a member of Islamic State.”

Her defence lawyer, Bill Boucaut SC, argued that the prosecution had not proven beyond reasonable doubt that Abdirahman-Khalif, who lived with her mother and two brothers at Mansfield Park, ever planned to go to Syria to join IS.

As for the videos of extremist acts, such as beheadings, that were found on her phone, she said she did not know how they got on her phone. However, she said she did not believe the beheadings and murders that were carried out by IS was “the appropriate way of Islam.”

The court had also heard that her family was “shocked” upon hearing she was arrested because they thought she was at the University of South Australia, where she had been studying. She quit her diploma of science and technology in March 2016.

Abdirahman-Khalif will remain in custody until her sentencing at a later date.