UK & World News

  • 12 August 2014, 13:32

Boy With Severed Head Shocks His Grandfather

An Australian man has spoken of his shock and sadness at seeing his young grandson pictured holding a severed head in Syria.

Peter Nettleton, whose seven-year-old grandson had been taken to the war-torn state by his jihadist fatherKhaled Sharrouf, said he was reduced to tears when he saw the image.

Mr Nettletonis estranged from his daughter Tara, who is Sharrouf's wife and the boy's mother.

Sharrouf - who travelled from Sydney to the Middle East to join Islamistextremists in the region - posted the picture of his son on Twitter last week with the caption: "That's My Boy!".

Sydney truck driver Mr Nettletonbegged the Australian government to do what it could to get the boy and his siblings home to Australia.

"I'm scared for the children. What life are they going to have now," he told Sydney's Daily Telegraph.

"Can't the government do something to pull these kids away from that man?

"That (picture) brought me to tears because I don't know how to handle it."

Australia and the US were due to hold talks on Tuesday about the growing problem of jihadists fighting overseas.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel said the graphic image demonstrated how barbaric militants from jihadist group Islamic State, previously known as ISIS, had become.

The picture shows the youngster - wearing blue checked shorts and a blue "Polo For Kids" T-shirt - holding the victim's head by the hair.

Another image shows Sharrouf posing in front of a black ISIS flag with his three sons, all of them dressed in military fatigues and brandishing guns.

ISIS fighters have captured hugeswathes of territory across Syria and Iraq, where they have forced thousands of Christian, Kurd and Yazidi people to flee their homes.

Another image is believed to show one of the boys wearing an explosives belt, according to Fairfax media.

Sharroufhad beenjailedfor four years in 2009 after he was one of nine accused plotting terrorist attacks in Sydney and Melbourne in 2007.

He was banned from leaving Australia due to the terrorist threat he posed, but managed to escape with his wife and three sons last year by using his brother's passport.

Mr Nettleton, who says his daughter cut ties with him when she married and converted to Islam, believes his five grandchildren - three boys and two girls - are in Malaysia withSharrouf's sister.

A friend of Sharrouf's also fighting in Syria, Mohamed Elomar, posted a tweet to telling him to "keep them heads rolling", according to the Telegraph.

The tweet was reported to have said: "What a flaming ripper, ayyy beauty mate, love it, keep them heads rolling."

Sharrouf'sSydney-based brother told Fairfax media that Australia should "forget" about the photo. Mostafa Sharroufsaid: "He's gone, forget about it. He's forgotten about youse."

Up to 150 Australians are fighting alongside militants overseas, mostly in Iraq and Syria, according to officials. British MPKhalid Mahmoodsaid in June that as many as 1,500 Britons had been recruited by extremists to fight in Iraq and Syria.

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