SYDNEY (dpa) – Reports of young Australian women going secretly to the Middle East to join Islamic State terrorists are “deeply concerning”, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Sunday.
Two women with links to Sydney’s Somali community had travelled two weeks ago after lying to their families about their plans, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
It said the women, 18 and 20 years old, planned to offer themselves as brides to militant fighters.
It is the first known case of women leaving Australia independently to join extremists.
Bishop said the government needed to work closely with communities and families who could be the first to detect changes in behaviour.
“They are seemingly young Australians who think they are going off on an adventure – well they’re not. They’re joining terrorist organisations that are carrying out shockingly brutal attacks,” Bishop was quoted as saying.
However, the father of one Australian woman who was killed in Syria has accused the government of using his daughter to lead them to the rebels.
The Australian government has cancelled about 70 passports of citizens who were believed to be about to leave the country to join the rebels in the Middle East.