A shocking photograph posted on Twitter by a terrorist with the words “That’s my boy!” made a big fuss among the political divide after being published in The Australian today. The boy, wearing a cap, checked pants and a blue shirt, struggles with both arms to hold up a human head in the picture posted on the Twitter account.
The Australian man who posted it is reportedly an Islamic State fighter. The shocking photo, taken in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, is believed to be that of Khaled Sharrouf’s son.
Prime Minister Tony Abbot said the picture was the sheer evidence regarding the barbarism of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIL or ISIS. “I believe there are more photographs in newspapers in Australia today of the kind of hideous atrocities that this group is capable of,” he told ABC radio on Monday.
Over the weekend, America launched airstrikes at the group in a bid to help members of the Yazidi sect who had been forced by ISIS to either convert to Islam or die.
The picture is among several others posted by Sharrouf, who is believe to have travelled to Syria with his family. For example, one other shows Sharrouf also holding the decapitated head.
Another one reportedly shows Sharrouf dressed in a camouflage outfit and posing along with his three young sons who are holding guns, with the flag of the Islamic State behind them. According to News Corps Australia, the children appear to be aged around four, six and seven.
Sharrouf, 33, is a former drug addict who used his brother’s passport to leave his country because he had been banned from travelling on the subject of the terror threat he posed. He has also been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Sharrouf was among a group of 9 men accused of stockpiling bomb-making materials and planning terror attacks in Sydney and Melbourne in 2007. He admitted his guilt and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Australian police currently have arrest warrants for Sharrouf and his companion Mohamed Elomar, another former Sydney resident, for “terrorism-related activity.” They’ll be arrested immediately should they return to Australia.
“What we’ve got to appreciate is that Islamic State – as they’re now calling themselves – is not just a terrorist group, it’s a terrorist army and they’re seeking not just a terrorist enclave but effectively a terrorist state, a terrorist nation,” Tony Abbot said. “And this does pose extraordinary problems… not just for the people of the Middle East but for the wider world. And we see more and more evidence of just how barbaric this particular entity is.”