An Australian nurse might face prosecution under the country’s counterterrorism laws after he claimed he was forced to fight for the Islamic State.
The Australian Federal Police is expected to arrest 39-year-old Adam Brookman of Melbourne once he lands in Sydney today (July 24).
Brookman, a nurse, surrendered in Turkey where he claims he was hiding out after fleeing ISIS, 9news.com wrote.
The Australian Federal Police released a statement saying Brookman was voluntarily returning to Australia with a police escort on a flight from Turkey, the Washington Post wrote.
It added that the Aussie nurse was “subject to ongoing investigations” but has not been charged.
“If there is evidence an Australian has committed a criminal offence under Australia law while involved in the conflict in Syria and Iraq, they will be charged and put before the courts,” the Australian Federal Police assured.
Brookman claimed he travelled to Syria early last year for humanitarian reasons but was forced to serve the terror group after the hospital he was working near Aleppo was bombed and he was taken to the terrorist-held area.
Washington Post quoted Brookman as saying to Fairfax Media that he opposed the violent of ISIS, including the beheading of their captives. He also stressed that he was innocent of any crime. But security experts are skeptical of Brookman’s story, the Sydney Morning Herald said.
Several other Australian men who travelled to Syria in 2012 and 2013 also claimed to have been providing aid in the country, but were later lauded as fighters in online jihadist forums after their deaths.
Returning jihadists could face up to 25 years in prison if they are found to have been fighting with a terror group, or found to have been in areas of Syria and Iraq banned under new anti-terror laws, according to Sydney Morning Herald.
Brookman could become the first person to be charged under tough new Australia’s counterterrorism laws, the Washington Post reported.