Australian foreign fighter deported from Turkey will be charged on ‘very serious’ offenses: minister
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – An Australian national suspected of fighting with a foreign terrorist group in Syria was arrested upon his arrival from Turkey to Australia on Sunday.
Agim Ajazi, 30, appeared via video link before the Magistrates Court in Adelaide on Monday. The suspect will be sent to Brisbane in Queensland for further trial.
According to local media reports, Ajazi did not apply for bail or contest the court’s decision.
Turkey began to repatriate foreign fighters, especially those with membership to the so-called Islamic State, in its detention in early November, starting with a US national.
The identity of most of the suspects has not been revealed.
In November, Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu warned that Ankara would return foreign Islamic State detainees to their native countries, even if their citizenship had been revoked.
According to Soylu, Turkey currently has around 1,200 foreign Islamic State members in its prisons, including relatives of the suspects.
“We are not a hotel” for any country’s Islamic State members, he said at the time.
Many nations in the European Union or abroad fear that due to a lack of evidence of criminal wrongdoing, Islamic State supporters could be quickly released once they appear in court after returning home.
In Australia, terrorism acts may be prosecuted even if the suspect carried out the action abroad.
Ajazi, who fought under the nom de guerre Ahmed Shaheed, is accused of fighting with the Nusra Front in Syria, Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said in a statement.
Dutton also quelled public fears and affirmed that there is no “current or impending threat to the community from the arrest.”
“The offenses are very serious and, if found guilty, carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.”