File picture showing smoke rising at positions occupied by Islamic State militants after an air strike by the coalition forces at the frontline in Raqqa, Syria. Nur Afiqah Farhanah Che Samsudin had wanted to join IS forces in Syria. Reuters picture

KUALA LUMPUR: Nur Afiqah Farhanah Che Samsudin had been through a lot in her life, despite being only 26 years old.

Realising she was going through a bit of a crisis in faith, she began searching for meaning and found what she thought was what she needed.

She became influenced by the jihadist movement and made up her mind to go to Syria to join up with the Islamic State (IS) terror group, but was detained in Turkey before she could cross the border.

Today, Nur Afiqah wept, her hands covering her face, as she was sentenced to eight years’ jail for giving support to IS.

High Court judge Datuk Mohd Sofian Abd Razak, in handing down the sentence, admonished Nur Afiqah.

“I read your letter that you wrote to your mother before leaving and in that letter you said you wanted to go for jihad in Syria and was willing to become a martyr. To me this is not jihad.. a noble jihad is jihad to yourself, your family and to become a better Muslim.

“The court symphatises with the twists and turns you have gone through in life, but going to Syria is not the solution. You are lucky you were detained at the Turkey-Syria border because if you did reach Syria, who knows what would have happened to you, whether you would be dead or alive,” he said.

Sofian also advised the accused to repent after serving the jail sentence.

“I hope that after serving the jail sentence you will go back to your mother and obey her because ‘heaven lies beneath the feet of your mother’,” he said.

Afiqah, who cried throughout the proceedings, admitted to having intentions to go to Syria by taking a flight from Malaysia to Singapore and then to Turkey as preparation to commit terror acts in Syria.

The offence was committed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang at 5.51pm on Aug 29, last year.

Her charge under Section 130JA of the Penal Code carries a maximum sentence of 30 years’ jail and fine upon conviction.

In pleading for leniency, Mohd Hezri Shaharil said his client regretted what she did, adding that she wanted to repent and accepted this as a punishment for her.

“She lost her father when she was still in school and depended on her mother and four siblings... she then met a man and fell in love but in 2014, the boyfriend died. She was stressed out at that time and would regularly go and cry on his grave.

“She then got married with her late boyfriend’s brother but they got divorced after two months after she found out that her husband was a drug addict.

“Due to stress and immaturity, she agreed to marry a man who was in Syria, whom she met on Facebook. The man had asked her to come to Syria for them to tie the knot.

“But then she finally realised that she was trapped into joining a false battle,” he said.

Deputy public prosecutor Mohamad Mustaffa P. Kunyalam, however, asked for a deterrent sentence as the offence was a serious one.

The court ordered for Nur Afiqah’s sentence to run from the date of her arrest on April 4.

According to the facts, Nur Afiqah had sold her Perodua Myvi car for RM5,000 before leaving and left a letter for her mother saying that she was moving to fight in Syria and wanted to become a martyr.

She arrived in Istanbul on Aug 30, 2016, and stayed there for several months before she was arrested trying to cross the Turkey-Syria border on Feb 9 this year, by Turkish authorities.

On April 4, she was deported to Malaysia and arrested at KLIA the same day.

During investigations, the accused in a statement to police said she had intended to go to Syria after getting directions from terrorists Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi and Ismail Hosain.

keywords: supporting terrorism, Islamic State, IS, woman, sentenced, Syria, Turkey

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