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Sharrouf children alive, Australian jihadi says as she flees IS stronghold

Sharrouf children trapped in Syria

Australia’s first so-called jihadi bride is believed to have emerged from Islamic State’s final stronghold, and says the youngsters of Australia’s most infamous terrorist are alive however stranded in IS territory.

The ABC has obtained unique footage displaying a lady believed to be Zehra Duman with different ladies and youngsters fleeing Baghuz – the final sliver of land nonetheless managed by Islamic State.

The video, filmed late final week by American humanitarian employee David Eubank, exhibits a younger lady amongst ladies and youngsters.

Sporting a niqab – conservative Islamic ladies’s gown that covers all the things however the eyes – the lady corrects Mr Eubanks when he says her identify: “You’re Zahra?”

In an Australian accent, she replies: “Zehra.”

She then tells Mr Eubanks that she was the “greatest good friend” of Tara Nettleton, the spouse of Australia’s most infamous terrorist, Khaled Sharrouf, who revealed a photograph of his nine-year-old son holding a severed head in Raqqa.

Sharrouf children trapped in SyriaConvicted Australian Islamic State recruit Khaled Sharrouf was killed in an air strike in 2017. Photograph: ABC Information

Ms Nettleton died of well being problems in 2015 and Sharrouf and his two eldest youngsters, Abdullah and Zarqawi, died in an air strike in 2017.

The couple’s three remaining youngsters – Zaynab, 17; Hoda, 16; and Hamzah, 9 – have been left stranded in Syria and there was ongoing hypothesis about their location.

Ms Duman revealed the youngsters stay stranded in Baghuz on the centre of the ultimate offensive towards the Islamic State group in Syria.

“They’re effective they usually’re alive … I don’t know in the event that they’re going to go away or not. I haven’t stored in touch with them so I don’t know,” she stated.

Ms Duman, 25, left Melbourne for Syria in late 2014.

She moved to the IS Syrian capital of Raqqa and married fellow Melburnian Mahmoud Abdullatif, who was preventing for Islamic State forces. He was slain 5 weeks after they have been wed.

Ms Duman has been a vocal supporter of the IS group’s violent rhetoric on social media in addition to an efficient recruiter – she allegedly assisted fellow Australian and mom of two Jasmina Milovanov to journey to Syria in Might 2015.

Nevertheless, after the primary Twitter account believed to be operated by Ms Duman was suspended in 2015, she disappeared from public view.

Sharrouf children trapped in SyriaMs Duman’s husband, Australian Islamic State fighter Mahmoud Abdullatif was killed in Syria. Photograph: Twitter/@rosemuminah

Ms Duman’s on-line presence has been a thorn within the aspect of the Australian authorities, which was making an attempt to stop a gentle stream of younger Australian Muslims from going to Syria.

In 2015 Ms Duman, calling herself Umm Abdullatif Australi, posted an image of a lady sporting a niqab and a military jacket and with an automated rifle in her arms with the caption: “catch me when you can”.

The identical yr a Twitter account believed to have been operated by her posted a collection of pictures of younger ladies in niqab brandishing automated rifles and standing on and round a white BMW.

“5-star jihad. M5 (the BMW) within the land of sham (Syria) he he,” she wrote beneath one of many photographs.

Sharrouf children trapped in SyriaLadies sporting burquas pose on a automotive with machine weapons, believed to be in Raqqa. Photograph: Twitter

“US + Australia, how does it really feel that each one 5 of us have been born n raised in your lands, & now right here thirsty for ur blood?” she wrote subsequent to a different photograph.

“Can’t mess with my clique. From the land down underneath, to the land of Khilafah. Thats (sic) the Aussie spirit,” she wrote in one other, referring to Islamic State’s so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

Zehra emerges as Islamic State in tatters

These posts have been on the peak of Islamic State’s success.

Since then the militant group has suffered a collection of army setbacks and by late final yr held solely a small space of land in Syria’s south-west province of Deir ez-Zor, close to the Iraq border.

Sharrouf children trapped in SyriaThis picture was posted by a Twitter account linked to Australian jihadi bride Zehra Duman in 2015. Photograph: Twitter

In September, a US-backed Kurdish paramilitary group referred to as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched a grinding offensive towards the remaining Islamic State territory.

Since then, utilizing a mixture of floor assaults, artillery and air strikes, the SDF has slowly pushed the remaining militants into ever-smaller areas.

By final week Islamic State forces solely managed the city of Baghuz – a tiny wedge of land about two kilometres large.

Over the previous week as many as 20,000 civilians fled the city and have been taken to refugee camps in Syria and Iraq.

Zehra’s Australian household ‘sick and depressed’

Ms Duman’s grandfather, who lives in Melbourne, informed the ABC he was very upset with how his granddaughter had turned out.

He stated “she was good earlier than” however had modified inside two months.

Her grandfather, who declined to offer his full identify, stated he beloved Australia and he needed the individuals concerned in her conversion to Islamic State supporter to be caught.

“[I] need Australia to catch those that modified her,” he stated.

When requested if he thought his granddaughter needed to return again to Australia, he stated: “How might I do know? I do know nothing.

“If she’s again to Australia, she’s by herself,” he stated.

Her father Davut Duman stated interested by the state of affairs made him sick and depressed.

He declined to talk additional about his daughter.

Ms Duman’s grandfather stated the 25-year-old held twin Australian-Turkish citizenship.

This may increasingly imply the Australian authorities might cancel her Australian citizenship, as she wouldn’t be left stateless.

Underneath Australian regulation she will solely have her citizenship cancelled and refused the appropriate to return if she can also be a citizen of one other nation.

Australian terrorist used youngsters for propaganda

Convicted terrorist Sharrouf left Australia to hitch IS in late 2013 and have become internationally notorious when the photographs of his son holding a severed head went international.

Even US secretary of state on the time, John Kerry, reacted to the photograph.

“This picture is basically one of the crucial disturbing, stomach-turning, grotesque pictures ever displayed,” Mr Kerry stated.

Sharrouf children trapped in SyriaOne among Khaled Sharrouf’s sons poses with a gun. Photograph: ABC Information

Sharrouf returned to the general public consciousness in Might 2017 when a video emerged of his youngest son Hamzah being coaxed by his off-screen father to simulate the killing of non-Muslims and Australians.

He turned the primary Australian to have his citizenship stripped earlier this yr beneath new counter-terrorism laws. He remained a citizen of Lebanon.

He was killed in a focused American air strike three months later, suggesting he was senior sufficient inside the IS system to finish up on a US kill listing.

The revelation concerning the location of his remaining youngsters will doubtless be a headache for Canberra, given they have been taken by their mother and father to the conflict zone and certain coerced into involvement with ISIS.

They maintain solely Australian citizenship and in the event that they handle to flee Baghuz their Australian household will anticipate the Australian authorities to assist them return house, as different Western nations have completed with different households.

Jihadi brides flee after motion’s collapse

Sharrouf children trapped in SyriaThis image dated February 20 is claimed to point out households who have been trapped in Baghuz being transported out of the world. Provided: Free Burma Rangers

On the peak of the Islamic State motion’s reputation in 2014 and 2015 – within the aftermath of their seize of Iraq’s second-largest metropolis, Mosul – a number of dozen Australian ladies left residence to hitch husbands who travelled to Syria to battle, or to marry males already preventing with the Islamic militant group.

Together with a whole lot of girls from different Western nations, these Australian ladies turned generally known as Islamic State’s “jihadi brides”.

Many created social media accounts and have become well-known on-line figures, spreading the group’s propaganda and inspiring different ladies to hitch them.

The difficulty of jihadi brides has been entrance and centre in current weeks, with Western media retailers discovering a few of the ladies languishing in Syrian refugee camps.

UK citizen Shamima Begum lately left Islamic State-controlled territory and publicly pleaded with the British authorities to permit her to return residence.

In response the conservative authorities revealed it had revoked her UK citizenship.

Within the US, President Donald Trump introduced he would forestall the return of US citizen Hoda Muthana after she too did media interviews asking to be allowed to return.

It’s unclear what motion the Australian authorities will take relating to Ms Duman.

Brutal motion united extremist teams underneath one banner

Islamic State was a small gathering of varied Iraqi and Syrian extremist teams that shot to international notoriety in 2014 when it captured Mosul.

The United Nations has declared it a terrorist organisation and it has dedicated a swathe of struggle crimes and different human rights abuses, together with televised beheadings, sexual slavery, utilizing youngster troopers and genocidal massacres.

Its important purpose seems to be the creation of an Islamic empire or caliphate throughout the Center East and North Africa, although since 2014 the group has additionally inspired – typically enabled – terrorist assaults throughout the Western and Arab world.

Lots of of individuals have been killed in Sydney, Manchester, Paris and dozens of different cities throughout the Center East, Europe, Asia and North America as a part of assaults linked to the Islamic State motion.

The group can also be liable for one of many worst terrorist assaults in recorded historical past, when in June 2014 a small group of militants killed greater than 1500 unarmed Iraqi air drive cadets as they left the Camp Speicher army base close to Tikrit.

-ABC

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