Photo of ISIS Boy Holding Soldier's Severed Head Stirs Outrage

Monday, 11 Aug 2014 01:18 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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The horrifying photo a young boy holding up the severed head of a Syrian soldier has caused worldwide outrage.

The image was posted on the Twitter account of Australian terrorist Khaled Sharrouf, now a fighter with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to The Australian.

The photo of the 7-year-old child holding up the decapitated head with both hands was taken in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa and had a caption from his proud father that read, "That's my boy."

Another photo showed Sharrouf¸ one of Australia's most-wanted terrorists and a suspected war criminal, posing with three boys believed to be his sons, all wearing combat fatigues, the newspaper reported.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott condemned the photo as "barbaric," while adding that the Islamic State is "not just a terrorist enclave but effectively a terrorist state."

He continued. "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."

The Daily Mail of Britain called the photo "shocking" and quoted Australian Defense Minister David Johnston as saying he was "revolted" by the image. Johnston says he has not ruled out giving military assistance to the United States against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Sharrouf was jailed in Australia for four years in 2009 for his part in planned terror attacks in Sydney and Melbourne. Although he was banned from leaving the country, he illegally used his brother's passport to move to Syria with his family.

Australia issued a warrant for his arrest last month after images emerged on his Twitter feed of another Australian, Mohamed Elomar, holding the severed heads of Syrian soldiers, according to the reports.

The boy's grandfather, truck driver Peter Nettleton, told The Daily Telegraph in Australia that he was devastated by the photos.

"I'm scared for the children," Nettleton said. "What life are they going to have now? Can't the government do something to pull these kids away from that man?"

Nettleton said originally he was led to believe that his son-in-law, Sharrouf, had taken his estranged daughter, Tara, and their three sons and two daughters to stay with family in Malaysia, while he went on to fight with ISIS in Syria.

He said that Tara met Sharrouf in high school and they had their first child when she was 17. "She just went with him and converted [to Islam]. She never grew up religious; we weren't religious."

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