Adam Brookman, father of five and former paramedic, is one of the Australians trying to come home after allegedly joining terror organisation Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.
There’s a report in The Australian today which reveals Brookman, 39, denies ever joining ISIS and was simply held at an Islamic State hospital after being injured, then prevented from leaving.
Brookman this week described the terror organisation as “vicious and cruel”, at odds with his previous Facebook posts which show he has a more humane view of what jihad entails.
In June 2014, Brookman posted: “Mashallah a mujaahid role isn’t just about fighting kuffar but it’s also helping out the poor and needy from the people.” Days later another post, quoting a Saudi Arabian cleric, describes jihad as “fighting with weapons, with property, sermons, appeals for good and retention from evil, studying, spreading of the call, etc”.
In other posts he states his work in Syria was “an ongoing service” his community provided, sponsoring a refugee camp and looking after “approximately 2000 displaced persons”.
Earlier this week, there were reports suspected Australian extremist fighters have been secretly negotiating with government agencies in a bid to return home but are being held back by the threat of lengthy jail time and persecution.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters:
“If you go, and you seek to come back, as far as this government is concerned you will be arrested, you will be prosecuted and you will be jailed.”
Last week Abbott said the Government would also be “taking action against hate preachers” warning groups such as Hizb ut-Tahrir — a worldwide network of radical Islamic political activists — from “spreading discord and division”.
He pointed to “strengthened terrorism advocacy laws” which would include “programmes to challenge terrorist propaganda” and “alternative online material based on Australian values”.
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