Aus­tralia po­lice will not help IS fighter’s kids: grand­mother

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

The Aus­tralian mother-in-law of a no­to­ri­ous Is­lamic State group fighter said Mon­day she was “dev­as­tated” that po­lice had re­fused to help bring her five grand­chil­dren home from Syria.

Karen Net­tle­ton’s daugh­ter Tara is mar­ried to Khaled Shar­rouf, who gained global in­famy last year when he posted pic­tures of him­self and his seven-year-old son on Twit­ter hold­ing up the sev­ered heads of sol­diers.

News emerged last week that Shar­rouf may have died in the same drone at­tack be­lieved to have killed fel­low Aus­tralian ji­hadist Mo­hamed Elo­mar, rais­ing con­cerns about what would hap­pen to his chil­dren who were taken to Syria last year.

“My ad­vice to the fam­ily is to en­gage with the proper le­gal author­i­ties and not to con­duct this dis­cus­sion through the media,” Immigration Min­is­ter Peter Dut­ton said on Wed­nes­day.

“I think that the Aus­tralian Fed­eral Po­lice (AFP) is the nat­u­ral touch point for the fam­ily. I think they need to en­gage with the AFP and talk about what op­tions there might be.”

But Syd­ney grand­mother Karen Net­tle­ton said she had been in con­tact with the po­lice over a pe­riod of months be­gin­ning last year about bring­ing home the chil­dren, now aged be­tween four and 14.

“They were say­ing they would look into help­ing us get Tara and the chil­dren out of Syria,” she told the Aus­tralian Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion.

But she added that they sud­denly changed their at­ti­tude, and con­cluded they were un­able to help her.

“I was talk­ing to one of the agen­cies and I was told that they wouldn’t be able to help us,” Net­tle­ton said.

“I was dev­as­tated, be­cause, who else do you go to get help to get your chil­dren out of a place like that? I cer­tainly can’t go there and get them.”

The Aus­tralian Fed­eral Po­lice said they could not com­ment on in­di­vid­ual cases, but noted that Can­berra did not have a con­sular pres­ence in Syria.

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