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#################### Geoff Seidner
Tuesday, 12 August 2014
Jihad’s ‘child soldiers’ spark calls for action on extremists
Jihad’s ‘child soldiers’ spark calls for action on extremists
Khaled Sharrouf in an image posted on Twitter.Source: News Corp Australia
THE grandfather of the young Sydney boy forced to pose with the severed head of an executed soldier in Syria has called on the government to act, saying he is “gutted’’ by the sickening image.
As political and religious leaders lined up to condemn the gruesome photo, published by The Australian yesterday, fresh details emerged about how convicted terrorist Khaled Sharrouf spirited his family out of Australia, flying his children into Malaysia and booking return tickets to confuse authorities.
Yesterday, Peter Nettleton, the father of Sharrouf’s Anglo-Australian wife, Tara Nettleton, said he was “devastated’’ by the shocking image, which generated worldwide media attention and near-universal revulsion.
Posted to a Twitter account that ASIO believes is operated by Sharrouf, the picture shows a young boy, believed to be Sharrouf’s son, holding the severed head of a slain soldier in the northern Syrian town of Raqqa.
The boy is no older than 10 and must use two hands to hold the head, which is blackened and bruised, the victim having been dead for several days.
“I was gutted, totally gutted,’’ Mr Nettleton told The Australian. ‘’I don’t know what to think. I just feel sorry for Tara.’’
Tony Abbott was quick to denounce the image, saying it exposed the “kind of hideous atrocities’’ that Islamic State was capable of. Islamic State, a jihadist group formerly known as ISIS, has declared a Muslim caliphate across swaths of Iraq and Syria after a bloody campaign that has left thousands of Shia Muslims and minority Yazidis and Christians dead.
Visiting US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel later echoed the Prime Minister’s remarks, saying they were graphic evidence of the real threat posed by the murderous terrorist group.
“I think reflected on the local newspaper I saw this morning, with the picture on the front page, it’s pretty graphic evidence of the real threat that ISIL represents,’’ Mr Hagel said.
Former army chief Peter Leahy said the image removed any doubts about his controversial warning at the weekend that the war against Islamic terrorism could last 100 years.
“The vast majority of Muslims would be completely horrified by this,” Professor Leahy said. “The only solution has to come from within Islam ... Their leaders must speak up and publicly condemn this behaviour.”
While most Islamic community leaders declined to comment on Islamic State, they united to condemn Sharrouf and the treatment of his sons.
NSW Islamic Council head Khaled Sukkarieh described the latest Sharrouf images as “beyond belief”. “To see photos of a seven-year-old being subjected to this kind of rubbish; we condemn it all in the name of Islam,” he said.
Board of Imams Victoria president Sheik Gul Saeed Shah said he did not know enough specifically about Islamic State, but was nevertheless warning young men not to travel overseas for jihad.
“My advice to the young men in Australia is practise your religion, you have freedom of religion in this country, and don’t go to be killed.
“Don’t listen to those people encouraging you to go — your family will suffer, your friends will suffer. Better not to go.”
Iraqi ambassador to Australia Mouayed Saleh told the Nine Network: “Kids like that when they grow up will become wild animals.”
Other pictures on Sharrouf’s Twitter account show Sharrouf holding the same severed head, or posing in combat fatigues with his three young sons, all of whom are brandishing weapons. However, The Australian can reveal Sharrouf has five children — three boys and two daughters — all of whom are believed to be in Syria.
It is understood the children left Australia about a month after their father fled the country in December, slipping illegally out of Sydney Airport on his brother’s passport.
Ms Nettleton is understood to have flown the children to Malaysia in the company of her mother, Karen Nettleton. The family stayed with a relative of Sharrouf — believed to be his sister — in Kuala Lumpur. The family all travelled on return tickets, a ruse, it would seem, designed to ease any suspicion among authorities that Ms Nettleton was planning on taking the family to Syria.
It is understood they were in Malaysia only a few weeks.
Karen Nettleton returned to Australia, but her daughter and five children journeyed on to Syria, where she met up with her husband.
Mr Nettleton said he had long been estranged from his daughter and her husband, who served nearly four years in jail for his role in the 2005 Pendennis terror conspiracy in Australia. He has not spoken to Ms Nettleton in seven years and has never met the couple’s three youngest children.
However, he knew the couple’s two daughters and put their ages at about 13 and 11.
“How do you get her back?’’ Mr Nettleton said. “Something has to be done about it.’’
Authorities sought to defend themselves against suggestions they had not done enough to prevent Ms Nettleton and her children travelling to Syria, saying they had no lawful basis for preventing their travel. A spokesman for the Attorney-General’s Department said the government was “disturbed and appalled by recent posts attributed to a Twitter account of Australian man Khaled Sharrouf’’.
The spokesman said in the event the Sharrouf children were returned to Australia, the government would “work closely’’ with child protection authorities to determine their future.
Speaking from The Netherlands, Mr Abbott said the Islamic State posed “extraordinary problems, not just for the people of the Middle East but for the wider world, and we see more and more evidence of just how barbaric this particular entity is.
“I believe there are more photographs in newspapers in Australia today of the kind of hideous atrocities that this group is capable of,’’ he told the ABC.
Bill Shorten described it as a “shocking, evil image’’ but warned it should not be used to whip up support for the proposed changes to terrorism laws.
He also demanded the government explain how Sharrouf was able to flee the country.
“I’m pretty angry that this person was able to get through our passport system under the current government’s watch and go to where he has gone, this is dreadful,” Mr Shorten said.
Sharrouf himself was largely silent yesterday. When approached by a reporter on Twitter for comment, he replied, “give me a good reason you’se will always chuck in spices to turn ppl against islam for a good story’’.
On a Twitter account believed to be that of fellow ex-Sydney Islamic State fighter Mohamed Elomar, the former boxer appeared giddy while celebrating his close friend’s growing notoriety over the disturbing images.
“What a flaming ripper ayyy beauty mate love it,” Elomar said in a reply to a link to media reporting on the photos. “Keep them heads rolling.”
As revealed in The Australian last month, Sharrouf has also posted several photos of Elomar holding the severed heads of Syrian soldiers. Both men are subject to arrest warrants in Australia.
Additional reporting: Brendan Nicholson, Mark Schliebs
I feel dreadfully sorry for any grandparent confronted with such an image, but I suspect the brutal damage has already been done to the child (children), it's too late for them. I wouldn't want what's left of that child anywhere near my grandkids, or back in Australia. Please don't bring them back.
"Board of Imams Victoria president Sheik Gul Saeed Shah said he did not know enough specifically about Islamic State, but was nevertheless warning young men not to travel overseas for jihad."
Yes it's good, a warning like this has been given by the Sheik which is more than needed. However for Sheik Gul Saeed Shah, to say he doesn't know enough about ISIS to make a comment or condemn unequivocally this this barbaric and totally evil Terrorist Group, is unbelieveable!! Is this Sheik NOT reading listening too, or looking at what the rest of us are??? OR is he afraid to stand out and condemn them utterly? That is my question.
If you think that this sort of thing is far from our land and could never happen here, Google "European no go zones" and peruse some of the articles that come up. Our problems at present are nothing compared to what countries like France, Germany, Britain and Holland are facing, but we will follow in their footsteps very quickly if we are stupid enough to vote for governments that pander irresponsibly to the ethnic lobbies.
So this is the ethnic community to which our PM and his government capitulated on his promise the amend Section 18c! How gutless and stupid. It ignores the wishes of many traditional, hard working, conservative Australians who constitute his primary support base. If the liberals think they can take this base for granted, think again. Andrew Bolt's article in yesterday's Herald Sun should be compulsory reading for all Government members and those that advise them.
It is not surprising that the Labor/Greens/ABC, Fairfax etc and too many of the always anti- Tony Abbott/Coalition people, the artificial " do gooders " and others do not want to see how very serious this terrorism and its threat is. Typically Shorten appears more concerned about this horrifying behaviour providing more support for the essential anti-terrorism laws than he is about the very serious threat of terrorism and I quote......" Bill Shorten described it as a “shocking, evil image’’ but warned it should not be used to whip up support for the proposed changes to terrorism laws.
He also demanded the government explain how Sharrouf was able to flee the country."...........
@PeterC You are right Peter. The Left- leaning line - up you have named fail to see the gravity of the threat we face from the Islamic world militancy and truth be told from Islamic agitators and terrorists born in Western nations including Australia. People like Shorten and Milne and Hanson- Young, always pleading the case of minorities rather than the broader common good and as well always placing rights above obligations, have nothing of substance to contribute to public discussions on security matters. More than that, the path they would lead us down is a path to instability and further degradation of the Australian polity.
i didnt think the labor party could come up with anyone more gormless than stephen conroy. now bill shorten uses an unimaginably gruesome act to attack tony abbott after labor has destroyed our immigration process and our border security.
i'd like to say to bill shorten - until you have anyfing werf saying - SHUT UP.
@BarbaraIt has been reported elsewhere that during the Rudd/Gillard/Shorten Labor years, and I quote..........." an estimated 120,000 illegal entrants flew into Australia between the years 2008 and 2013... and they remain here on fake passports and false documents.
The majority of illegal fly-ins are on fraudulent student visas and work permits and they departed mostly from Middle Eastern hot spots, including Afghanistan, under the auspices of people smugglers "........ Also questioned elsewhere is whether the above was allowed to come here so as to obtain votes for Labor as well as from the 50,000 or so boat people who arrived during the Rudd/Gillard/Shorten Labor years.
@warren Yes Warren they can hold riots against films ( Hyde Park ), riots on our beaches, conduct shoot - ups across SW Sydney giving the Middle East Crime Squad work for a hundred years but they can't get on a podium together anywhere and denounce the atrocities that are happening daily in their home countries to those of opposing Muslim sects and to Christians and now the Yazidis.
"...most Islamic community leaders declined to comment on Islamic State..."
Where are all the voices of moderate Muslims? Where is their anger at what is done in the name of their religion? Where is all the outrage of Muslim mothers? Why there is little or no condemnation, visible in mainstream media?
Do we hear this almost total silence coming from our Muslim community? And do we know what it means? Surely it doesn't mean they are not as outraged as the rest of us - or does it...
There would be very little to read if front pages were dedicated exclusively to condemnation coming from Muslim community, wouldn't there.
The ISIS terrorist group is replicating the exact same method that bought the Ottoman Empire to it's great height. It was only in later years of their civilization that the Ottomans they became more tolerant to other religions. ISIS similarly are are now attempting to re-create this great Islamic state and go through the nations and kill unmercifully ,crucifying and create states of fear.
This also has reference to Israel. HAMAS also has an extreme Islamic philosophy . If people from the Netherlands or Australians or Americans lived in land that Israel lives, HAMAS would still bomb them or us as they see no one but arabs should occupy what they see as their land. For Israel is perceived as a near reflection of the Western ways, democracy and lifestyle and this does not sit well for "true " radical Islamic believers who are anti Western. If Israel ever fell, so to would part of the West fall. Sound silly from a Western perspective-- probably ? . BUT not silly from Extreme Islamic believers viewpoint - just ask them !!. And Remember Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. And look at how many trouble spots in the world where Extreme Islam is involved- And Moderate Islam, the Giant that it is, is silently observing.
@G.D He wants to get into power - at any cost. To do what? Important stuff like bringing back the carbon tax. Dealing with people here who would not hesitate in killing us does not count. Incredible when you think about it.
@G.D The problem is that Shorten lacks integrity and he has demonstrated that time and time again. Just recall his role in the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years. He should now be called before the Royal Commission to reveal what he really knows about union corruption. Nobody has ever explained to my satisfaction where these ex-union politicians, many at the most senior level, had accumulated all the money they now have.
@G.D Shorten is short-changing us all by not getting on board with every security measure the Government is now opposing. Retired General Leahy last week warned us of the seriousness of the threat of Islamic terror here and across the world saying it will require our determined force of resitance for the whole of this century. And still Shorten and his colleagues like Plibersek don't get it. They are not fit to govern Australia; they are not able to find within themselves the conviction that the maintenance of our own security is the most important task of any Government.
I saw an imam (I think) in Sydney on bolt report on Sunday spewing hatred and death threats against Jews but did it get any other news coverage? No, silence all round.I was disgusted and sickened by what he had to say. I don't understand how someone can migrate to a country when they have nothing but hatred for the population We just allow muslims free reign to say whatever they like but if that Dutch guy Geert something wants to come here there is a huge outcry. The REAL discrimination in this country. In all facets of our life too much leeway is given to minorities while the majority are gagged. Are we all crazy or do we really not care what happens to Australia.
@Judy It was a disgrace that Wilders was not allowed a public forum ( media or whatver ) to express his very reasoned and researched platform of ideas. Nothing he says in hysterical; all of it is factual. He is as a prophet speaking of the ills he can see but so many yet cannot.
It was an indication of the fear of Islamic backlash too that Wilders could not anywhere in Sydney find a public setting eg hotel / hall where he could tell us what he has to say. That's what you call Menace. That's the way the people we are discussing operate.
@Judy Minorities are not the ballast of Australia. The majority is. You are right Judy we give far too much leeway to minorities. We need to abandon multicultural doctrine, recalibrate immigration, cut the intake and then take in a much smaller number of people per year with the essential criterion being cultural compatibility to us and along with that the ditching of all multicultural programmes ( which only engender division ) with a clear statement that if you live here you do it our way. If people want to live here they need to accept the norms of the dominant culture. Otherwise this nation ( and any nation that persists in multicultural theory and practice ) will slowly chip away at its core , its dominant culture ( ours) and all the strengths which set us apart from the countless failed and failing nations of the world.
It is crazy, to sum up, to continue to give so much leeway to minorities. We must assert the dominance of our national culture proud in our embrace of our British and European heritage which is the bedrock of our social and cultural and political life, in fact of Australia.
Four years residence is insufficient evidence of a true commitment to Australian values; and no migrant who does not demonstrate their true commitment to Australian values should ever be allowed the privilege of citizenship and a passport.
Besides a security response to this issue, the government should be acting to strengthen the Citizenship Act to include provisions which better require a true commitment to democracy. A strengthened Citizenship Act would required a demonstrated commitment over a longer period to non violence with religious, racial, ethnic, political and gender equality and tolerance prior to granting citizenship, as well as demonstrated assimilation into Australia by way of the workforce, education and national institutions.
@Susanne@Richard Duel citizenship actually makes it easier to send them somewhere else if they misbehave here; and citizenship is revoked. Duel citizenship means there is another country will accept them back. It does have some advantages.
@Richard Citizenship is a prize and the people of the failed and failing countries of the world are pressing in upon in great numbers. We have only an obligation to ourselves and to maintain our civil and ordered society and then we have a right to share it with others limited in number and origin as we see fit. Our first criterion should be whether or not those people can assimilate with us and live in peace, whether or not they will take on and hold our values and with us the maintenance of our civil society and our politics of elections, Parliamentary debate and reasoned consensus. In the end there is no better guarantee that we shall get the right people than by having a policy which favours those most culturally like to us.
Whilst condemning this sicko we should also be thanking the Sharrouf family for their photographic depiction of what radical islam is all about. Perhaps it will reduce the level of apathy in this country towards national security.
What a disgusting image. I agree with most of the comments that suggest the Imams MUST get more involved in denouncing the violence and the Muslim community NEED to get behind outing any and all suspected persons in their community that endorse this obscene behaviour. If Muslim in this country don't want to be persecuted, discriminated against and thought of as all belonging to some terrorist organisation then get involved and start to prove otherwise. the longer this goes on the more resentment, fear and anger will be aimed directly at them.
Shorten's response is vile. To use this as a political platform is just too low.
A very tricky situation. How do we stamp out the extremists in Australia including the evil hate preachers, without punitive measure on moderate Muslims that end up driving them further away, into the hands of extremists.
It is only a matter of time until a muslim atrocity in Australa and that is very sad.
@Timothy Unfortunately, the only ones that can make the change are the moderate muslims and nothing will change until they unite, stand up and say "NO MORE!" Until then, the rest of the world can only stand by and watch. Now the sad part is that these moderate muslims may never have the courage to do this. THAT is sad! :o)
Its sickening to see extremism that is so great that they harden little children to their base standards. Does anyone out there doubt that given a chance these muslims would, given the chance, perpetrate a terror act in Australia that would account for lost Australian lives?
In light of what's happening Richard Marles pathetic response excusing muslims on the Bolt report (last Sunday) makes him unfit to be an opposition immigration minister - let's hope that Labor stays in the political wilderness for time enough to gain some talent that seeks the betterment of Australia rather than their base reasons used for seeking power... Labor has learned nothing during the 6 dysfunctional period when they excused everything they did in seeking power at any cost