Tara Nettleton, the widow of Australian Islamic State terrorist Khaled Sharrouf, has died in Syria from complications associated with appendicitis.
The former Sydney woman is believed to have died some time ago after she was unable to access life-saving health services.
It is believed that the mother of five was living in Raqqa with four of her children and one grandchild after the death of her husband as recently as last year.
Tara’s husband Khaled Sharrouf slipped out of Australia in December 2013 using his brother’s passport and joined Islamic State, meeting up with his friend and fellow terrorist, Mohamed Elomar.
Tara and their children followed via Turkey soon afterwards.
So she willingly chose to go t Syria from Australia. She was not forced or coerced.
Sad that she is dead, but bad decisons often have consequences. She chose to leave a country with excellent health care to go live in the Islamic State.
Mr Van Alst told Fairfax Media that Karen said the second worst day of her life was knowing her grandchildren and great grandchild didn’t have her there to look after them.
He and Karen are now most concerned about Tara’s children, who are just “innocent Australian kids”, he said.
They were once.Are they today?
Sharrouf achieved global notoriety when he tweeted a picture of his son holding the severed head of a Syrian solider captioned “that’s my boy”.
The photo, posted by a Twitter account then believed to belong to Elomar, spruiks him as the “young cub of the Islamic State”.
In June last year, Karen Nettleton told Fairfax Media how she was watching television at home when she received a text message from Tara’s eldest daughter Zaynab. The teenager had just become the widow of her husband Elomar.
“Hello Nana, how are you? My husband got hit by a drone yesterday and got killed. When I found out I was happy for him to get what he wanted and go to paradise but at the same time I was devastated because I loved him so much and I knew I was never gonna see him again in this life.”
There may be hope for the kids, but they may now be fully radicalised.
Nettleton said last June her daughter and grandchildren were in need of help more than ever.
“[They] more than ever need the love and care of their family to help them recover from the trauma, abuse and terrors of war they have experienced,” she said.
Their family haven’t done a great job to date.