Khaled Sharrouf (born 23 February 1981) is a Lebanese man and ISIS fighter best known for photos he posted on social media of his son, then 7, holding up the severed head of a Syrian soldier as a trophy. He was born in Australia to parents who had emigrated from Lebanon. In 2017 he became the first Australian dual citizen to have his Australian citizenship stripped for terrorism. He was reported killed in June 2015, but the Australian government was unable to confirm this. He was again reported to have been killed by a coalition airstrike in Syria on 11 August 2017.
In 2005, he was arrested at his home in Wiley Park along with eight others for his role in one of Australia’s biggest terror plots, during a raid when Australian counterterrorism units uncovered an enormous cache of guns, ammunition, and bomb-making material in Sydney and Melbourne.
Sharrouf traveled from Sydney Airport to ISIL controlled territory on 6 December 2013 using his brother's passport. He later joined ISIL in 2014. His activities received wide coverage in Australia following his posting on the internet in August 2014 of a photo of his 7-year-old son holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier. The incident was strongly condemned by Australian leaders and by the public. Sharrouf's activities are thought to be war crimes. The incident raised concerns about Australian Muslims being recruited for terrorist activity abroad, and the possibility that the recruits would return to Australia and conduct attacks.
Sharrouf was reported to have been killed on 19 June 2015 by a drone strike. His death was not confirmed, and later reports suggest that he is still alive. In March 2016, Sharrouf 's daughter Zaynab stated "we know for sure he is dead". The Australian government was unable to confirm his death.
On 11 August 2017 he was again reported to have been killed by an airstrike. Two of his sons were also killed. The 7.30 television current affairs programme said that the Australian Government received "credible information" Sharrouf was killed by a coalition air strike while driving near Raqqa, Syria.
When questioned the Australian Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton said that Sharrouf’s death would be nothing to mourn.
Stripped of citizenshipEdit
Sharrouf was married to Tara Nettleton. They had five children: Zaynab, Hoda, Abdullah, Zarqawi and Hamzah.
Nettleton, an Australian from Sydney, is thought to have died in Syria following appendix surgery complications. A family friend, Robert van Alst, confirmed that Nettleton had died in 2015 but her mother, Karen Nettleton, said she had only been informed about her daughter's death around February 2016.
- “The ruins of Raqqa”, a 2018 documentary produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and distributed by Deutsche Welle's DW-TV, which in part follows reporter Matt Brown interviewing residents of Syria and Iraq who encountered Sharrouf and his family, including Yazidi women held as slaves who served the family
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- Williams, Jacqueline (13 February 2017). "ISIS Fighter's Australian Citizenship Is Revoked Under Antiterror Laws". New York Times.
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