Touching story: Australia grandmother in emotional reunion with IS fighter's orphans

17 April, 2019, 18:28 | Author: Wade Massey
  • The orphaned children of notorious Islamic State terrorist Khaled Sharrouf have been reunited with their grandma Karen Nettleton

Sydney Grandmother Karen Nettleton has pleaded for Sharrouf's children and her three remaining grandchildren - heavily pregnant Zaynab, 17, Hoda, 16 and Humzeh, 8, along with Zaynab's two toddlers now staying in a Syrian refugee camp - to be allowed to come home.

"Australia's national security interests always come first", Morrison told Radio FiveAA.

Nettleton is still uncertain about how she will get the children - 17-year-old heavily pregnant Zaynab, Hoda, their eight-year-old brother Hamzeh, and Zaynab's two young children Ayesha, three, and Fatima, two - out of the camp, saying she was frustrated by negotiations with Canberra.

Australia is working with the Red Cross to repatriate the three children and two grandchildren of Sharrouf, he added.

"They shouldn't be a political football - they have suffered", he told reporters in Adelaide.

But if Sharrouf's family can get out of Syria and to an Australian embassy, they will likely be given passports to return. Are my children a risk to Australia - absolutely not, absolutely not.

"There are processes to be followed and there's still a long way to go on these things".

She told the ABC's Four Corners program that she wanted to return to home to Australia and that she should not have to pay for the sins of her parents. They get caught by other people.

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"I didn't know I was in Syria until, until after we crossed the borders and I heard people speaking Arabic, so that's when I was a little bit weirded out". She has made two previous trips to Iraq to find her grandchildren, to no avail. And she told me we were in Syria.

Zaynab said she and her siblings had no choice about being taken into the war zone.

"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.

"You've been so courageous, I don't know how you did it", Ms Nettleton said. And now that our parents are gone, we want to live.

Australia is not ready for the children of Islamic State terrorists to return, after the caliphate's fall in Syria, according to a leading developmental psychiatrist. He was left with Lebanese citizenship.

Sharrouf's three children are at a refugee camp in Syria and have been reunited with their grandmother Karen Nettleton, who has been negotiating with officials to bring the youngsters home. She died in hospital a year later of a perforated intestine.

Their mother died of medical complications in 2015, and their father, notorious terrorist Khaled Sharrouf, died in an air strike in September 2017, along with his two eldest sons.

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