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ISIS brides and children in Syria to be deradicalised before returning home to Australia

The federal government is seeking to repatriate 16 Australian women and 42 children currently held in al-Roj detention camp in northeast Syria.  Pictured are women and children at the camp

Islamic State wives and their children stranded in Syria will be taken to a third country in the Middle East before being flown back to Australia, a former ADF special operations intelligence analyst has revealed.

The Cabinet National Security Committee will meet on Tuesday to formally approve a bailout to repatriate more than a dozen families who recently underwent ‘risk assessments’ following a secret ASIO mission in this war-torn country.

Sixteen Australian women and 42 children have been held in al-Roj detention camp in northeast Syria near the Iraqi border for three and a half years after the fall of Islamic State in March 2019 .

The women left Australia to join their husbands fighting for the fundamentalist terror movement before their short-lived ‘caliphate’ collapsed three and a half years ago.

The federal government’s controversial decision to roll back the policy barring foreign fighters and those who have fled to Syria and Iraq to help them, has already sparked division in Australia.

On Monday, The Project hosts raised questions about how the families would be safely reintegrated into Australia.

Former ADF intelligence analyst Shane Healey gave a blunt answer when asked by co-host Carrie Bickmore if Australia was obligated to bring them back “even if there was a slight risk”.

The federal government is seeking to repatriate 16 Australian women and 42 children currently held in al-Roj detention camp in northeast Syria.  Pictured are women and children at the camp

The federal government is seeking to repatriate 16 Australian women and 42 children currently held in al-Roj detention camp in northeast Syria. Pictured are women and children at the camp

The women fled Australia to join their husbands fighting for ISIS before the short-lived 'caliphate' collapsed in March 2019 (pictured, ISIS fighters)

The women fled Australia to join their husbands fighting for ISIS before the short-lived ‘caliphate’ collapsed in March 2019 (pictured, ISIS fighters)

“Yes, 100%,” replied Mr. Healey.

“I don’t see how we can get refugees out of Sudan, Afghanistan and other war-torn countries and leave Australian citizens sitting in such a terrible state.”

He stressed that women and children rescued from the detention camp would not be taken to Australia immediately and would need further assessment before they could return home, a process that could take months.

“They’re going to take them to a host country somewhere in the Middle East and give them a holistic assessment- psychological, educational, medical and it takes weeks, then slowly unpack if it’s trauma or any medical issues and then start building them to reintegrate back into Australia,’ Mr Healey explained.

“Most young children probably don’t even speak English or have had no formal education, so that would be one of the processes.”

The project’s Waleed Aly said what he described resembled other deradicalization programs, which have a “sketchy” track record overseas.

But Mr Healey was extremely confident the families would be successfully reintegrated into Australia without problems – despite public outcry.

Former ADF special ops intelligence analyst Shane Healey (right) was quizzed by Project's Carrie Bickmore (left) if Australia is forced to bring them back

Former ADF special ops intelligence analyst Shane Healey (right) was asked by Project’s Carrie Bickmore (left) if Australia is forced to bring them back ‘even if there is a slight risk “

“I hate the term ‘deradicalized’ because I think it’s an extremist spectrum,” Mr Healey said.

“It’s not about being radical or their religion, it’s about their acceptance or use of violence.”

“Most of these courses or programs have failed because they try to target religious aspects. I worked for Youth Justice NSW where we were very successful in targeting their willingness or acceptance to use violence in order to achieve their end state.

“So the key to all of this is that when you’re doing these assessments, that’s what you’re looking at.” What violence did they see, what violence did they use, and what are their views on using violence to achieve a cause? »

The segment ended with Mr Healey delivering a brutal blow to the former government of Scott Morrison and its hardline policy of refusing to allow Australian citizens to return to Syrian detention camps.

He strongly refutes the previous government’s reasoning that extracting families from Syrian camps was a bad idea and was based on intelligence advice.

I think the previous government was not telling the whole truth and I would say that (former minister) Peter Dutton had other programs,” Mr Healey said.

“Look at Matt Tinkler, the head of Save our Children. He entered and left the camps several times.

“NGOs come in and out of the camp with no problem, there has been ABC and other journalists have done documentaries inside the camps with no problem and we have already dealt with these issues of Sudanese refugees in Australia without any problem.

“So I just dismiss that and think they’re wrong.”

It comes as a father and grandfather of an Australian woman and three children in a Syrian detention camp says he is excited to bring them back.

Kamalle Dabboussy pictured with her daughter Mariam Dabboussy (right) and her daughters Aisha (left) and Fatema in al-Hawl camp in northeast Syria.  He promised to cooperate with all levels of government to bring his family home

Kamalle Dabboussy pictured with her daughter Mariam Dabboussy (right) and her daughters Aisha (left) and Fatema in al-Hawl camp in northeast Syria. He promised to cooperate with all levels of government to bring his family home

A top-secret spy mission to refugee camps in Syria has paved the way for the return of stranded Islamic State wives and their children to Australia, overturning a years-long ban by the Australian government (ISIS fighters). EI in the photo)

A top-secret spy mission to refugee camps in Syria has paved the way for the return of stranded Islamic State wives and their children to Australia, overturning a years-long ban by the Australian government (ISIS fighters). EI in the photo)

Mariam Dabboussy left the middle-class life here working in childcare for the war-torn hellhole aged just 22 with her 18-month-old baby after marrying Kaled Zahab in 2015.

Ms. Dabboussy and her three children are currently being held in al-Roj refugee camp and are expected to be repatriated.

Her father Kamalle Dabboussy, who still lives in Sydney, says he was not officially told about the mission but would cooperate with all levels of government to bring his family home.

“It’s every parent’s wish to make sure their children are safe,” he said.

Muslim community leader Dr Jamal Rifi said he believed “100 per cent” Australia would be safe with the women returning home.

He told Sky News that the country’s security agencies could also adequately monitor women and children in the event of security concerns.

During the segment, The Project's Waleed Aly (left with co-host Carrie Bickmore) pointed to the

During the segment, The Project’s Waleed Aly (left with co-host Carrie Bickmore) pointed to the “sketchy” track record of other overseas de-radicalization programs.

Save the Children Australia chief executive Mat Tinkler said the repatriation ‘cannot happen soon enough’.

“Children died in these camps,” he said.

“Australian children are malnourished, suffer from untreated shrapnel injuries and the situation is impacting their mental health.”

But the opposition is asking for more details.

Former Home Secretary Karen Andrews said she did not give the green light while in government because of the risk to Australian officials and radicalization concerns.

Ms Andrews said the advice given to her indicated that the women posed a security risk after traveling voluntarily and being “complicit, in general, in the role they were supposed to play… in supporting ISIS and foreign fighters”.

The former Australian government had an intransigent policy of denying citizens readmission - stripping many of their passports under strict anti-terrorism laws (pictured, al-Hol refugee camp Syria 2019)

The former Australian government had an intransigent policy of denying citizens readmission – stripping many of their passports under strict anti-terrorism laws (pictured, al-Hol refugee camp Syria 2019)

Ms Andrews said bringing them back ‘posed unnecessary risk and enormous cost’.

“I haven’t seen anything that could alter my view,” the opposition home affairs spokesman told the ABC.

But Federal Congresswoman Tanya Plibersek disputed the account.

“Some of the women, the mothers, were taken there when they were just children themselves and married to (Islamic State) fighters,” she told the Seven Network. .

“Some of them were deceived, some of them were forced to go.”

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