Tara Nettleton, the wife of Australian Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) terrorist Khaled Sharrouf, announced she wants to come back to Australia. However, Prime Minister Tony Abbott issued a harsh warning that the family will face punishment for their crimes.
“Crime is crime is crime, and criminals will face the full severity of Australian law, whether they’re male or female,” he explained. “I’m afraid you don’t get off scot-free just because you say, ‘I’ve seen the error of my ways.’”
Sharrouf took his wife and five children to Syria in 2013 via Malaysia. He caused an international storm when he posted a picture of his 7-year-old son holding a severed head with the caption, “That’s my boy!” Fairfax Media found Nettleton’s mother in Malaysia “in what police suspect was an effort to arrange the repatriation of Sharrouf’s wife and children,” including the 7-year-old.
“The point I want to stress is that criminals will be punished whether they’re young, whether they’re old, whether they’re male, whether they’re female, whether they’re criminals abroad or criminals at home,” continued Abbott.
In December, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop issued a ban on Australians traveling to Syria’s Raqqa province, which is the terrorist group’s capital of their caliphate. Over 75 passports were cancelled and ten people were refused passports under the new law passed in September. Anyone who breaks the law, “including family visits, journalism or aid work,” could receive a sentence of 10 years in prison. The law allows spies to monitor the Australian Internet for anyone who passes out confidential “information… [that] relates to a special operation.” These people can also receive 10 years in prison.
There is no evidence Sharrouf wants to leave the sadistic terrorist group. He enjoys posting pictures of his children with guns in front of the ISIS flag and pushing them into propaganda videos. He allegedly married off his 14-year-old daughter to a 31-year-old male friend.
“Criminals will be punished and to participate in the kind of barbarism that we have seen so often in the Middle East is just wrong,” stated Abbott. “It’s morally wrong and it’s a crime under Australian law and it will be punished.”
The criticism Nettleson received after her plans went public worried her mother.
“I plead with the Australian government and its institutions to put politics aside and do everything in their power to assist my family’s safe passage and return to my home,” she pleaded. “They are young Australians in real danger.”
Unfortunately, if the family returns, the children’s former schools already made it known none will take them. The eldest sons studied at Rissalah College, “but their attendance was plagued by unpaid fees and the community’s fear of their father.”
“You could tell he was ruthless, he had it in his eyes, many people were scared of him,” described one parent.
The principal stated the pictures of the children are only one reason why the school will not admit them again.
“Given the horrifying and barbaric experiences they have been exposed to, I don’t believe Rissalah College has the means to address their potential needs,” said principal Afif Khalil.