Fairfield City Mayor, Frank Carbone, has called on the Federal Government to guarantee the safety of all Australians following the repatriation of four wives and widows of Islamic State (IS) militants and their 13 children to NSW from Syrian camps.
The repatriation effort, he says, puts at risk the safety of all Australians.
“The Government needs to guarantee people’s safety and security especially after ASIO has torn up the passports of these people,” said Mayor Carbone.
“They went overseas and affiliated themselves with those fighters.
“If the Government has to put ankle bracelets on those coming back, that concerns me and should be a concern for every single Australian.”
“We need to know they are zero risk. How much risk do we need to take?”
The mothers and 13 children were repatriated to NSW from Iraq, years after first travelling to Syria with their militant group partners.
In a statement released on Saturday, the returnee mothers said they were “deeply thankful” to be back in Australia with their children.
“We want to express our regret for the trouble and hurt we have caused, especially to our families.”
“We are willing to do whatever is asked of us by government authorities to ensure the safety of our families and the Australian community and we will fully co-operate with all Australian law enforcement agencies.”
They said they now wanted to see their children lead safe and normal lives in Australia.
“Together with our children, we have been through a terrible ordeal over many years.”
Mayor Carbone says any local settlement of the returnees could cause distress to IS victims already living in Western Sydney
“You need to understand a lot of these people are traumatised. They left their country because they were persecuted by ISIS and they wanted to come to this country away from ISIS,” he said.
“I think that many of them are really concerned about the risks that these returnees pose.”
Home Affairs Minister, Clare O’Neil said the repatriated women had all received individual assessments by security services.
“At all times the focus has been the safety and security of all Australians as well as the safety of those involved in the operation,” she said.
Shadow Minister for Home Affairs, Karen Andrews, has slammed the repatriation, labelling it “inexcusable”.
“I am concerned about what will be put in place to make sure that these women and children are not in a position that they will cause any risk at all to Australian people,” she said.