Picture that made grandad cry
THE grandfather of a boy pictured holding a severed head in Syria said the shocking image brought him to tears, with the growing problem of jihadists fighting overseas a focus of United States-Australia talks yesterday.
The image of the Sydney-raised boy posing with the rotting head of a soldier, posted on the Twitter account of his father Khaled Sharrouf, an Australian who fled to Syria last year and is now an Islamic State (IS) fighter, sparked outrage.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel said that it showed how barbaric IS militants had become, while Australian Muslim leaders expressed widespread revulsion.
The seven-year-old boy's grandfather, Peter Nettleton, who is estranged from his daughter Tara, Sharrouf's wife, begged the government to help bring the boy and his siblings home.
"I'm scared for the children. What life are they going to have now?" the Sydney truck driver told Sydney's The Daily Telegraph.
"Can't the government do something to pull these kids away from that man? That (picture) brought me to tears."
Australia has an arrest warrant out for Sharrouf, who fled the country last year using his brother's passport after serving almost four years in prison when he pleaded guilty over a 2005 conspiracy to attack Sydney.