Australian Jihadist's Wife and Children 'Allowed' to Leave Australia to Reunite in Syria

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By Reissa Su | August 19, 2014 10:03 AM EST

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) had come under fire for allowing the wife and children of Australian jihadist Khaled Sharrouf. According to reports, Australian authorities were aware that Sharrouf left the country using a false passport but still allowed his wife, Tara Nettleton and kids to leave two months after.

REUTERS/Stringer
A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) waves an ISIL flag in Raqqa June 29, 2014.

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However, the federal police defended its actions and said no arrest warrants were issued against Sharrouf's family. Authorities could not revoke Nettleton's passport simply because her husband is a convicted terrorist and ISIS member who posted pictures of his son holding a decapitated head of a slain solider.

The AFP has revealed intelligence agencies have discovered that Sharrouf had left Australia using a false passport. Authorities said Nettleton and her children went to Syria where her sons were seen with Sharrouf through pictures.

Intelligence agencies do not have any information on Nettleton since she was not included in the photos posted by Sharrouf on social media. Only their three male children were seen with Sharrouf. Like their mother, the whereabouts of Sharrouf's daughters remain unknown.

Reports said Sharrouf was able to leave Australia using his brother's passport in December 2013. The Attorney-General's Department had earlier said Nettleton, her children and their grandmother booked return tickets to Malaysia in February. The grandmother had since returned to Australia while Nettleton and her children did not.

Authorities said they know of Nettleton since her husband was convicted for his involvement in a plan to attack Sydney in 2005. She was not allowed to see Sharrouf in prison for two years after guards caught her attempting to smuggle contraband.

Meanwhile, the Labour party has urged the government to explain how Sharrouf had escaped the country. Several political leaders had expressed their outrage for the shocking images posted on Twitter showing a young boy holding a rotting and severed head of a Syrian soldier. Religious leaders including Pope Francis, have condemned the actions of Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has demanded an update from Immigration Minister Scott Morrison. 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Stringer / REUTERS/Stringer)
A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) waves an ISIL flag in Raqqa June 29, 2014.
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