A 26-year-old man from Sydney, who left home in 2015 to join the Islamic State (IS) terror group in Syria, has pleaded to the Australian government to allow him and his family to return.
Fairfax Media reported that Mohammed Noor Masri said he initially did not realise the extent of the group’s brutality, reports Xinhua news agency.
He denied ever fighting with the group, saying that he worked at a hospital before surrendering to Kurdish forces following the fall of the IS’ Syrian stronghold Baghouz last month.
Masri has appealed for him, his pregnant wife and three children to be allowed back to Australia where he said he is prepared to face the consequences of his actions.
“(I feel) remorseful, regretful. I mean, people make mistakes. And you have to pay the price for your mistake,” Masri said.
“I would prefer to be prosecuted in Australia or under international law because you have things such as human rights and justice, so that would be the preferred option.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has maintained a hardline against IS recruits wishing to return home, telling the media on Monday: “I’m not going to put one Australian life at risk to try and extract people from these dangerous situations.
“I think it’s appalling that Australians have gone and fought against our values and our way of life and peace-loving countries of the world. I think it’s even more despicable that they put their children in the middle of it.”