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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.


Islamist activitiesEdit

"Sharrouf was jailed for almost four years in Australia over his involvement in the 2004 Pendennis terrorist conspiracy."[1][2]

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.[3][4]

Sharrouf was involved in planning the 2012 Sydney anti-Islam film protests.[5]


Sharrouf traveled from Sydney Airport to ISIL controlled territory on 6 December 2013 using his brother's passport.[6] He later joined ISIL in 2014.[7] 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.[8] The incident was strongly condemned by Australian leaders and by the public.[9][10][11] Sharrouf's activities are thought to be war crimes.[12] 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.[13]

Sharrouf was reported to have been killed on 19 June 2015 by a drone strike.[14] His death was not confirmed, and later reports suggest that he is still alive.[15] In March 2016, Sharrouf 's daughter Zaynab stated "we know for sure he is dead".[16] The Australian government was unable to confirm his death.[17]

With Mohamed Elomar, Sharrouf posted many photographs of severed heads or dead and mutilated bodies.[18]

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.[19]

When questioned the Australian Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton said that Sharrouf’s death would be nothing to mourn.[18]

Stripped of citizenshipEdit

In February 2017, he was the first person stripped of Australian citizenship under the new laws of 2016.[1][20][18]

Personal lifeEdit

Sharrouf was married to Tara Nettleton. They had five children: Zaynab, Hoda, Abdullah, Zarqawi and Hamzah.[21]

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.[22][23]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b Maley, Paul (11 February 2016). "Khaled Sharrouf stripped of citizenship under anti-terror laws". The Australian. Retrieved 14 February 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  2. ^ Olding, Rachel (24 August 2014). "Terrifying legacy emerges from success of Operation Pendennis". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 
  3. ^ "Khaled Sharrouf". Counter Extremism Project. 
  4. ^ "The Sydney suspects". The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 November 2005. 
  5. ^ "How the Hyde Park riot fired up two Australian Muslim terrorists, Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar". The Daily Telegraph (Sydney). 1 Oct 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  6. ^ "Islamic State: Khaled Sharrouf passed airport checks, evaded authorities in less than two minutes". ABC News. 16 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Australian National Security – Islamic State". Australian Government. Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Crane, Emily (11 August 2014). "'I'm sure you've seen much worse than that': Staggering reaction of uncle of Australian boy, SEVEN, who was pictured brandishing head of slaughtered Syrian soldier". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  9. ^ "Photo of boy holding decapitated Syrian soldier's head 'barbaric' – Australia PM". 11 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Khaled Sharrouf's sister describes his actions fighting with IS as 'abhorrent'". 2 October 2014. 
  11. ^ Maley, Paul (12 August 2014). "Jihad's 'child soldiers' spark calls for action on extremists". The Australian. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "'Bucket full of heads any1 in aus want some organs please dont be shy to ask': Smirking Australian terrorist poses with decapitated heads in sickening pictures posted online". Daily Mail. London, UK. July 25, 2014. Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  13. ^ Brendan Nicholson (July 17, 2014). "Returned radicalised jihadis 'a significant risk', says ASIO". The Australian. Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  14. ^ Welch, Dylan (24 June 2015). "Khaled Sharrouf may have been targeted in drone strike months before his death, barrister says". ABC. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  15. ^ "Terrorist Khaled Sharrouf still alive after drone attack that killed Mohamed Elomar". News Limited. 28 June 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  16. ^ Awford, Jenny (21 March 2016). "14-year-old daughter of notorious terrorist Khaled Sharrouf confirms that 'we know for sure he is dead'". Daily Mail. Retrieved 12 March 2017. 
  17. ^ Ferrier, Tracey (30 April 2017). "Who is Khaled Sharrouf and is he alive?". NewsComAu. Australian Associated Press. Retrieved 12 May 2017. 
  18. ^ a b c Benson, Simon; Maley, Paul; Bearup, Greg (additional reporting) (17 August 2017). "Aussie intel pinpointed Sharrouf for US strike". The Australian ( News Corp. Retrieved 30 August 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  19. ^ Welch, Dylan; Dredge, Suzanne (16 August 2017). "Australian terrorist Khaled Sharrouf believed to have been killed in air strike". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 16 August 2017. 
  20. ^ Williams, Jacqueline (13 February 2017). "ISIS Fighter's Australian Citizenship Is Revoked Under Antiterror Laws". New York Times. 
  21. ^ "Khaled Sharrouf, Australian Isis terrorist, killed in Syria – reports". The Guardian. 16 August 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017. 
  22. ^ "Tara Nettleton, widow of Australian Islamic State terrorist, dies in Syria". The Sydney Morning Herald. 11 February 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2017. 
  23. ^ "Tara Nettleton, widow of Isis fighter Khaled Sharrouf, dies in Syria – reports". The Guardian. 10 February 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2017.