Overweight man [Illustrative].
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
The family and friends of four Australian brothers from Sydney who ran away to Syria, presumably to join Islamic State, are hoping their sons will be turned away by ISIS since two of them are reportedly obese.
In a report by Australia's 2UE radio station, hosts John Stanley and Garry Linnell interviewed Doctor Jamal Rifi, the only person who has been in touch with the brothers, ranging in age from 17 to 28, since they left Australia.
Rifi said that the mother of the brothers is hoping her sons will come back home to Australia by any means possible, including fat shaming. He said the two oldest brothers are obese, weighing over 140 kilograms.
"They [are not] good foot soldiers. I mean, they are over 140 kg. People who [are] going to see them are going to realize 'What are we going to do with them? You're going to eat our food and you can't even run on the field?'"
The family is also reportedly hoping that the upcoming harsh winter season in Syria will be another factor able to convince the men to return home.
According to the interview, the brothers originally told their Lebanese-born mother that they had won four tickets for a vacation in Thailand. She helped her sons pack and even drove them to the airport.
Shortly after the men left for their supposed vacation, the mother reportedly received a text message reading "Arrived in Syria. Will see you in paradise."
They had not shown signs of radicalization before leaving for Syria, Rifi said.
The mother contacted police, who were able to track down the men to Turkey, where they later crossed over into Syria.
Rifi said right now, the authorities are the only ones investigating what led the siblings to make the rash decision, but the family reportedly has little information. "The concern right now for the family is not how they got radicalized or who facilitated it for them," said Rifi. "Their only concern is them coming back."
"These boys, they are simple boys. They couldn't organize a trip the first time ... they went to the airport, they missed their plane and they had to rebook the next day... these are simple boys with no life experience."