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Westerners in ISIS
Australian Jihadists Wanted for Syrian Beheadings

The beheadings of several Syrian army soldiers, carried out by ISIS, have now been linked to a pair of Australian jihadists, The Telegraph reports:

Australia has issued arrest warrants for a pair of Australian citizens believed to be fighting in Syria after images emerged of the two holding the severed heads of Syrian soldiers.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) counter-terrorism chief Neil Gaughan told ABC in an interview that warrants had been issued for Australians Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar on terrorism offences.

A Twitter account linked to al Qaeda offshoot Islamic State published pictures of the beheaded corpses and heads of five soldiers killed in Syria’s Raqqa province, saying the soldiers were from the 17th division.

As we have noted before, there are thousands of foreign combatants, including 3,000 Western passport-holders, fighting in Syria—and intelligence services may not be able to track them.

It’s a problem that also weighs heavily on at least one non-Western country: China. Yesterday, Wu Sike, China’s special envoy for the Middle East raised concerns that radicalized Chinese Uighurs are making their way to Iraq and Syria.

Muslim extremists from China’s far western region of Xinjiang have gone to the Middle East for training and some may have crossed into Iraq to participate in the upsurge of violence there, [Wu] said on Monday. […]

“Several hot spot issues in the Middle East have provided living space for terrorist groups, in particular the crisis in Syria has turned this country into a training ground for extremists from many countries,” he said.

“These extremists come from Islamic countries, Europe, North America and China. After being immersed in extremist ideas, when they return home they will pose a severe challenge and security risk to those countries,” added Wu, who has 40 years of diplomatic experience in the Middle East and speaks Arabic.

In a world where one determined suicide bomber can cause untold destruction, many Western observers are rightly alarmed by the prospect of native-born, battle-hardened jihadists returning home. And with ISIS attracting new followers due to its run of successes in Iraq and Syria, the number of foreign-born fighters in the Middle East could spike. The chaos in the Middle East cannot safely be ignored, even from as far away as Australia and China.

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  • Government Drone

    Don’t worry—I’m sure our brain trust in Washington will deploy a grand helping of Smart Diplomacy™ to avert any more crises!!!

  • FriendlyGoat

    There was a lot of criticism of an American citizen being killed by America in connection with his foreign fighting on behalf of jihad. BUT, what other sensible path is there than for Australia to try to control Australians, China to control Chinese and America to control Americans? When they go nuts for Islam and cross lines into violence, who but the home nations have the primary responsibility to deter them or take them out?

  • Boritz

    New Zealanders need not apply.

    Australian Jihadists Wanted for Syrian Beheadings

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