Momena Shoma commits terrifying attack within women’s prison
A female terrorist tried to stab a Canadian in the neck with garden shears because she saw herself as a “soldier of the Islamic State” who wanted international exposure.
Prisoner Momena Shoma, 28, told authorities it was her obligation to “rise against the crusaders” and “put fear in the hearts of the disbelievers”, the Supreme Court of Victoria heard on Wednesday.
She had been in 24-hour lockdown in Dame Phyllis Frost jail in Melbourne but was allowed to socialise with other prisoners after pretending to be deradicalised.
Within a month of release she subjected Kailee Mitz to a terrifying attack on October 30 last year.
Mitz is in jail because she imported methamphetamine from Canada and is awaiting sentence after pleading guilty this month.
Shoma was imprisoned for 42 years in 2019 after stabbing her homestay host in the neck while he slept in an ISIS-motivated attack, with the man miraculously surviving.
Two other female inmates held Shoma back after the attack as prison guards rushed to respond.
She “maintained a strange smile on her face” and was seen “happy and laughing” after she was restrained, prosecutor Brett Sonnet said.
Justice Jane Dixon said Mitz was “remarkably agile and quick” to leap out of the way and protect herself with her hands, sustaining only an injury to her thumb.
The court heard Shoma cheered when she was told she would be charged with committing a terrorist attack.
She got her hands on the garden shears after another inmate who was cleared to have them left them unattended.
She told authorities her preferred weapon would have been a suicide bomb.
She wanted to kill Mitz and targeted her because of her nationality, telling police “if it was someone local it would be of interest to Australian media only”, the court heard.
Shoma was born in Bangladesh to a financially well-off family and had never lived outside of home until she came to Australia, upon which she immediately committed a terrorist attack.
Her family were “not especially devout” Sunni Muslims who were happy and loving and Shoma was radicalised on the internet, her lawyer Tim Marsh said.
She previously pleaded guilty to engaging in a terrorist attack and being a member of a terrorist organisation for the prison stabbing.
She will be sentenced at a later date.
Originally published as Momena Shoma commits terrifying attack within women’s prison
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