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AustraliaSharrouf children alive, Australian jihadi bride says as she flees Islamic State stronghold

11:31  27 february  2019
11:31  27 february  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

ISIS brides from Canada, the US, and Europe are asking to return home years after fleeing for Syria. Here are their stories.

ISIS brides from Canada, the US, and Europe are asking to return home years after fleeing for Syria. Here are their stories. Several women from Alabama, Canada, and the UK who fled their homes to join ISIS have asked to return. The women moved to Syria in hopes of becoming so-called ISIS brides - women married to jihadi fighters whose goal is to raise a new generation of ISIS-supporting children. Begum, 19, fled ISIS just weeks ago, four years after leaving her home in London to join the extremist group alongside three classmates. Hoda Muthana, from Alabama, then came forward to ask for forgiveness in hopes of returning to the US.

Australia 's first so-called jihadi bride is believed to have emerged from the Islamic State group's last stronghold , and says the children of Australia 's most notorious terrorist are alive but stranded in IS territory. Key points: Zehra Duman left Australia for Syria in 2014, to marry Australian Islamic State

The Australian woman said she tried to flee the Islamic State (IS) group for two years and return to Australia , but she had no way of getting out. Related Stories. Sharrouf children alive , Australian jihadi bride says as she flees IS stronghold . An unexpected find among those fleeing the last

Sharrouf children alive, Australian jihadi bride says as she flees Islamic State stronghold© ABC News Australia's first so-called jihadi brides is believed to have emerged from Islamic State's last stronghold, saying the children of Australia's most notorious terrorist are alive but stranded in IS territory. Australia's first so-called jihadi brides is believed to have emerged from Islamic State's last stronghold, and says the children of Australia's most notorious terrorist are alive but stranded in IS territory.

The ABC has obtained exclusive footage showing a woman believed to be Zehra Duman with other women and children fleeing Baghuz — the last sliver of land still controlled by Islamic State.

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Sharrouf 's three Australian children remain trapped in an area about 2 kilometres wide, where Islamic State forces are slowly being ground down under Sharrouf children alive , Australian jihadi bride says as she flees IS stronghold . Islamic State teenager shunned by Bangladesh after UK

The video, filmed late last week by American humanitarian worker David Eubank, shows a young woman among women and children.

Wearing a niqab — conservative Islamic women's dress that covers everything but the eyes — the woman corrects Mr Eubanks when he says her name: "You're Zahra?"

In an Australian accent, she replies: "Zehra."

She then tells Mr Eubanks that she was the "best friend" of Tara Nettleton, the wife of Australia's most notorious terrorist, Khaled Sharrouf, who published a photo of his nine-year-old son holding a severed head in Raqqa.

Ms Nettleton died of health complications in 2015 and Sharrouf and his two eldest children, Abdullah and Zarqawi, died in an air strike in 2017.

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Yet many women of Islamic State shouted with pride as they evacuated Baghouz in Syria in late February, the last stronghold of the Islamic State 's caliphate, despite difficult conditions including hiding for long Sharrouf children alive , Australian jihadi bride says as she flees IS stronghold .

The couple's three remaining children — Zaynab, 17; Hoda, 16; and Hamzah, 9 — were left stranded in Syria and there has been ongoing speculation about their location.

Ms Duman revealed the children remain stranded in Baghuz at the centre of the final offensive against the Islamic State group in Syria.

"They're fine and they're alive … I don't know if they're going to leave or not, I haven't kept in contact with them so I don't know," she said.

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

She moved to the IS Syrian capital of Raqqa and married fellow Melbournian Mahmoud Abdullatif, who was fighting for Islamic State forces. He was slain five weeks after they were wed.

Sharrouf children alive, Australian jihadi bride says as she flees Islamic State stronghold© ABC News Australia's first so-called jihadi brides is believed to have emerged from Islamic State's last stronghold, saying the children of Australia's most notorious terrorist are alive but stranded in IS territory. Ms Duman has been a vocal supporter of the IS group's violent rhetoric on social media as well as an effective recruiter — she allegedly assisted fellow Australian and mother of two Jasmina Milovanov to travel to Syria in May 2015.

The women who flee Islamic State remain a security threat and the West has a responsibility

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Teenage jihadi bride Zehra Duman, who fled Melbourne to fight with the Islamic State in Syria in 2014, is now begging to come home, claiming her two The mother-of-two young children said she understood Australians would be angry with her but insisted: 'My kids have a right to be treated like

Residents say hundreds of Arab civilians have been killed in US-led coalition air raids since the campaign began several months ago, with many of their homes in villages and towns east of the Euphrates River Sharrouf children alive , Australian jihadi bride says as she flees IS stronghold .

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

Ms Duman's online presence has been a thorn in the side of the Australian Government, which was trying to prevent a steady stream of young Australian Muslims from going to Syria.

In 2015 Ms Duman, calling herself Umm Abdullatif Australi, posted a picture of a woman wearing niqab and an army jacket and with an automatic rifle in her hands with the caption: "catch me if you can".

The same year a Twitter account believed to have been operated by her posted a series of photos of young women in niqab brandishing automatic rifles and standing on and around a white BMW.

"5-star jihad. M5 (the BMW) in the land of sham (Syria) he he," she wrote under one of the photos.

"US + Australia, how does it feel that all 5 of us were born n raised in your lands, & now here thirsty for ur blood?" she wrote next to another photo.

"Can't mess with my clique. From the land down under, to the land of Khilafah. Thats (sic) the Aussie spirit," she wrote in another, referring to Islamic State's so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

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Australian jihadi Khaled Sharrouf has married his 13-year-old daughter to a fellow fighter and The pair were thought to have been killed by a United States drone strike on ISIS's 'capital' Raqqa last Terror: Australian terrorist Khaled Sharrouf (right) rose to infamy after fleeing to Syria in 2013 - soon

Australian ISIS fighter Khaled Sharrouf 's three orphaned children have said they are desperate to come home. Khaled Sharrouf (pictured) became Australia 's most notorious home grown terrorist after images circulated of She said after leaving the last ISIS stronghold of Baghouz, the siblings

Zehra emerges as Islamic State in tatters

Those posts were at the height of Islamic State's success.

Since then the militant group has suffered a series of military setbacks and by late last year held only a small area of land in Syria's south-west province of Deir ez-Zor, near the Iraq border.

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

Since then, using a combination of ground assaults, artillery and air strikes, the SDF has slowly pushed the remaining militants into ever-smaller areas.

By last week Islamic State forces only controlled the town of Baghuz — a tiny wedge of land about two kilometres wide.

Over the last weekas many as 20,000 civilians fled the town and were taken to refugee camps in Syria and Iraq.

Zehra's Australian family 'sick and depressed'

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

He said "she was nice before" but had changed within two months.

Her grandfather, who declined to give his full name, said he loved Australia and he wanted the people involved in her conversion to Islamic State supporter to be caught.

"[I] want Australia to catch those who changed her," he said.

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When asked if he thought his granddaughter wanted to come back to Australia, he said: "How could I know? I know nothing.

"If she's back to Australia, she's by herself," he said.

Her father Davut Duman said thinking about the situation made him sick and depressed.

He declined to speak further about his daughter.

Ms Duman's grandfather said the 25-year-old held dual Australian-Turkish citizenship.

This may mean the Australian Government could cancel her Australian citizenship, as she would not be left stateless.

Section 35 of Australian Citizenship Act allows Australia to revoke someone's citizenship if a person "fights for, or is in the service of, a declared terrorist organisation".

Australian terrorist used children for propaganda

Convicted terrorist Sharrouf left Australia to join IS in late 2013 and became internationally infamous when the pictures of his son holding a severed head went global.

Even US secretary of state at the time, John Kerry, reacted to the photo.

"This image is really one of the most disturbing, stomach-turning, grotesque photographs ever displayed," Mr Kerry said.

Sharrouf returned to the public consciousness in May 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 became the first Australian to have his citizenship stripped earlier this year under new counter-terrorism legislation. He remained a citizen of Lebanon.

He was killed in a targeted American air strike three months later, suggesting he was senior enough within the IS system to end up on a US kill list.

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The revelation about the location of his remaining children will likely be a headache for Canberra, given they were taken by their parents to the warzone and likely coerced into involvement with ISIS.

They hold only Australian citizenship and if they manage to escape Baghuz their Australian family will expect the Australian Government to help them return home, as other Western nations have done with other families.

Jihadi brides flee after movement's collapse

At the height of the Islamic State movement's popularity in 2014 and 2015 — in the aftermath of their capture of Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul — several dozen Australian women left home to join husbands who travelled to Syria to fight, or to marry men already fighting with the Islamic militant group.

Along with hundreds of women from other Western nations, those Australian women became known as Islamic State's "jihadi brides".

Many created social media accounts and became well-known online figures, spreading the group's propaganda and encouraging other women to join them.

The issue of jihadi brides has been front and centre in recent weeks, with Western media outlets discovering some of the women languishing in Syrian refugee camps.

UK citizen Shamima Begum recently left Islamic State-controlled territory and publicly pleaded with the British Government to allow her to come home.

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

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

It is unclear what action the Australian Government will take regarding Ms Duman.

Under Australian law she can only have her citizenship cancelled and refused the right to return if she is also a citizen of another nation.

Ms Duman is of Turkish heritage but it is unclear if she is a Turkish citizen.

Brutal movement united extremist groups under one banner

Islamic State was a small gathering of various Iraqi and Syrian extremist groups that shot to global notoriety in 2014 when it captured Mosul.

The United Nations has declared it a terrorist organisation and it has committed a swathe of war crimes and other human rights abuses, including televised beheadings, sexual slavery, using child soldiers and genocidal massacres.

Its main aim appears to be the creation of an Islamic empire or caliphate across the Middle East and North Africa, though since 2014 the group has also encouraged — sometimes enabled — terrorist attacks across the Western and Arab world.

Hundreds of people have been killed in Sydney, Manchester, Paris and dozens of other cities across the Middle East, Europe, Asia and North America as part of attacks linked to the Islamic State movement.

The group is also responsible for one of the worst terrorist attacks in recorded history, when in June 2014 a small group of militants killed more than 1,500 unarmed Iraqi air force cadets as they left the Camp Speicher military base near Tikrit.

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'I only saw America killing': an IS widow's view of Syria's war.
Emerging from Islamic State's last enclave in eastern Syria, a widow of one of the group's fighters made no effort to hide her enmity toward the United States as she handed herself over to U.S.-backed Syrian forces besieging the area. "This is not war. I did not see fighters, people taking up arms and waging jihad against America. No, I only saw America killing - a lot," French national Um Walaa's told Reuters TV after being evacuated from Baghouz near the Iraqi border. "...They used to say we (Islamic State) made the world scared, honestly I did not see this. I did not see that we terrorized the world.

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