The mother-in-law of infamous IS fighter Khaled Sharrouf said that the terrorist may still be alive. He is believed to be imprisoned after attempting to escape from Syria. Khaled Sharrouf created a worldwide outrage after his young son was seen holding a severed head of a Syrian soldier in a photograph.
Karen Nettleton, Sharrouf’s mother-in-law, attempted to visit Syria to bring back her grandchildren. She returned to Sydney last month without the children and blamed media for the failure of her plans. Nettleton informed Australian counter-terrorism officials that her son-in-law was still alive. She also told the officials that he was imprisoned by IS. However, she could not provide proofs for her claim, reported 9news.com.au.
Her lawyer also has not confirmed that she made the claim. He said that any information in this regard would be “deleterious to Ms Nettleton’s family”.
Federal Attorney-General George Brandis confirmed that they knew about the claim but could not further investigate the matter.
“Whatever the position, the Sharrouf case is the clearest possible example of the perils that people expose themselves to when they foolishly travel to the Middle East to fight with terrorists,”
Sharrouf fled to Syria from Australia using his brother’s passport in 2013, as stated by Herald Sun. His wife is believed to be dead, which has left the children orphaned. Initially, Sharrouf’s eldest daughter, Zaynab revealed that their father died in a drone strike. But the claim was never confirmed by the authorities.
Yahoo7 reported that the information about Sharrouff came after a voicemail analysis from a call made after the terrorist’s supposed death. The analysis found that it was Sharrouf’s voice. This again boosts the speculations about his still being alive.
Neil Gaughan, the national manager of counter-terrorism for the Australian Federal Police, said, “The conversation was some months ago and at the time the assessment was that he was still alive. Whether that holds true is difficult for us to determine because of the fluid nature of operating environments in Iraq and Syria.”
Meanwhile, Australian Federal Police and NSW joint Counter Terrorism Team have joined hand in the investigation. Nevertheless, the plight of the terrorist is an eye opener for those who dream of joining IS.