Foreign Ministry Cancels Passport of Aussie Jihadist Who Posted on Twitter Photo of Son Holding Decapitated Head of Syrian Soldier
By Vittorio Hernandez | August 13, 2014 9:00 AM EST
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said on Tuesday that she had the passport of jihadist Khaled Sharrouf canceled and his family faces legal action if they return to Australia. Sharrouf shocked the world by posting on Twitter photos of his young son holding the decapitated head of a Syrian soldier.
Actually, Sharrouf used his brother's passport to leave Australia in 2013, together with his wife and three sons, to fight in Syria and Iraq. He was able to leave despite a ban by the Australian government to leave the country because he is considered a terrorism threat.
"This imagery is shocking and it underlines what we've been saying about this threat to Australia and Australians from violent extremism," SBS.com.au quoted Bishop.
Peter Nettleton, the Australian father-in-law of Sharrouf, said he was totally gutted by his grandson's image, which Sharrouf's brother Mostafa said Australia must just forget. Nettleton said he felt sorry for his daughter Tara.
In his tweet, Sharrouf even boasted, "That's my boy!" The photo, taken in Raqqa, a city in northern Syria, was published also by an Australian newspaper, prompting Prime Minister Tony Abbott to comment that the image is proof of how barbaric the Islamic State group is.
There is a pending arrest warrant for Sharrouf and his companion, Mohamed Elomar, who had also tweeted two weeks ago images of himself holding two decapitated heads.
Bishop also said in response to a statement from Defence Minister David Johnston that right-minded countries would not just sit back and watch events in the Middle East that she does not expect Australian troops would be sent to Iraq to help the American military battle Islamic extremist, but only to provide humanitarian assistance.
She said there has been no request for a military type of assistance since the U.S. had already started air strikes to counter the Islamic state fighters. However, Australian military planes would drop aid packages in northern Iraq, Bishop said.
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