A former Melbourne university student who joined Islamic State has been captured by Kurdish-led forces in Syria, becoming the first Australian man known to have been caught during the terrorist group’s last military stand.
Conservative Party policy is to cancel the citizenship of dual nationals who sympathise with ISIS & radical Islam, and/or participate in terrorist activities here or overseas.
The Australian reports, Australian Mahir Absar Alam was captured this month outside the town of Baghouz, the last piece of territory to be held by Islamic State.
He is now being detained by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, which confiscated a phone he had been using to communicate with the outside world.
The 26-year-old had used the phone on March 6 to make a rare post on Facebook, simply typing “New journey”.
It is understood Alam is married, but his wife is not an Australian citizen.
Although he has not previously been publicly identified as a foreign fighter, Australian security agencies are understood to have long known about Alam.
Leaked Islamic State fighter registration records seen by The Australian show he joined ISIS just four weeks after it declared its so-called caliphate in 2014, alongside three other Melbourne men.
He is understood to be the sole surviving member of that group.
Alam was born in Australia and is understood to hold no other citizenships, and there has been no sign of any effort to move him to Iraq.
The federal government has repeatedly stated it wants Australian citizens in Syria dealt with as far away as possible. One person who knows him said Alam, who grew up in the small South Australian town of Loxton before moving to Melbourne for university, had expressed regret at joining Islamic State months after arriving in Syria.
Alarm now faces the potential of spending a prolonged period of time in a Syrian prison camp, with the possibility of being taken to Iraq for trial or back to Australia for prosecution.