Australian doctor joins IS, arrest warrant issued

  • AP, Australia
  • Updated: Jun 18, 2015 13:45 IST

Australian police issued an arrest warrant on Thursday for an Australian doctor who appeared in an Islamic State movement recruitment video urging Western medical professionals to join him in Syria.

Tareq Kamleh, a 29-year-old Australian born doctor, who had worked in several Australian public hospitals appeared in the video in April describing his medical work in Syria as his "jihad for Islam."

The blue-eyed son of a Palestinian father and German-born Muslim convert mother, who grew up in the Australian west coast city of Perth, has said his only regret about leaving Australia last year to join the Islamic State movement was that he had not left sooner.

Australian Federal Police said in a statement that Kamleh, who now uses the name Abu Yusuf al-Australi, would be arrested if he returned to Australia on three terrorism charges that carry a maximum total of 45 years in prison.

The charges include being a member of and recruiting for a terrorist organization.

He also faces a charge under new counterterrorism laws of remaining in a terrorism no-go zone, the Islamic State group stronghold of al-Raqqa province in Syria.

Australia banned travel to al-Raqqa in December and to the Iraqi city of Mosul in March, under laws which critics argue put responsibility on defendants to prove they have not engaged in terrorism.

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