Australian brothers en route to Middle East stopped at Sydney airport

March 8, 2015 12:28

Australian Authorities have stopped two teenage brothers from boarding a Middle East bound flight at Sydney's Airport in what they claim was an attempt by the siblings to join jihadist groups fighting abroad, AFP reported on Sunday.

While Canberra's Immigration Minister Peter Dutton did not reveal which country the brothers, aged 16 and 17, were attempting to reach, a similar case involving three young British Muslim girls who successfully joined the Islamic State in Syria has made the Islamic State's strongholds in that country a prime suspect.

The US State Department estimates that about 12,000 foreign fighters, including about 100 fighters from Australia, have joined the Islamic State group since the conflict in Syria began in 2011, yet the phenomenon of children fleeing their often well-to-do homes to the join the jihadist groups has been especially alarming.

“These two young men... are kids, not killers, and they shouldn’t be allowed to go to a foreign land to fight and to come back to our shores eventually more radicalized,” Dutton told the press.

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