Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Australian grandmother has emotional reunion with orphans of notorious Islamic State fighter

Khaled Sharrouf with his sons READ MOREKhaled Sharrouf’s children set to return home after PM’s softening on IS fighter families
Jeannette Daniel | 17 April, 2019, 18:29

"This image... is really one of the most disturbing, stomach-turning, grotesque photographs ever displayed - of a seven-year-old child holding a severed head up with pride and with the support and encouragement of a parent", then US Secretary of State, John Kerry, says on the program. "Because I've heard a lot of stories about people giving birth inside their tent and a lot of them haven't worked out".

Nettleton said she was told by Australian authorities that the family had to cross the border to Turkey before Australian officials would help them.

"We would follow the normal processes for issuing of travel documents after all those other matters have been addressed", he said. "I missed you so much too". "But you can't, once you get in you're stuck".

"Khaled Sharrouf was a murderous terrorist".

Karen Nettleton told the program her grandchildren and great-grandchildren would pose no threat to Australians.

In 2015, several Yazidi women who accused Sharrouf of enslaving them said they looked after his children as part of their enslavement and warned the youngsters were absorbing the barbaric life around them.

"They're not a threat or a danger to anyone".

More news: Trump vetoes congressional resolution to end USA involvement in Yemen war

Only three of the children - Zaynab, now 17 and pregnant with her third child, her sister Hoda, 16, and brother Hamza, eight - survive. And Hoda is the quiet one. Just because they're last name is Sharrouf, doesn't mean they are monsters.

Professor Louise Newman - one of Australia's leading experts on the impact of trauma on children - said Australia was "not ready" for, or equipped to handle, the significant trauma to which children of terrorists have often been exposed.

On Tuesday the prime minister, Scott Morrison, continued to suggest the government is "working behind the scenes" to help Sharrouf's children but said there is a "long way to go" before they might be brought to Australia.

His wife, Tara Nettleton, a Muslim convert, died in hospital a year later of a perforated intestine.

The Department said the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments have been working together to support young people and school communities in relation to countering violent extremism.

Paul Ronalds, Save the Children Australia's chief executive, said Australian children of foreign fighters are the victims of horrific decisions made by their parents and they must be brought back. "They are in a very unsafe part of the world and Australia is not in a position to offer any safe passage for people who are in that part of the world".

Bill Shorten, leader of the Opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP), told reporters on Monday that there was no reason that they should not be allowed back into Australia, according to The Canberra Times.

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