BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:20 P.M.) – A Sydney man is pleading to the Australian government to allow him to return home with his wife and three children after spending several years living in the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) occupied areas of Syria.
Mohammed Noor Masri, 26, told the Australian media on Sunday that he’s prepared to face a lengthy jail sentence in Australia for his “mistake” but wants his pregnant wife, who is also Australian, and their three young children, brought out of Syria.
Masri surrendered himself to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) last month after the latter besieged the Baghouz Camp inside the Deir Ezzor Governorate of eastern Syria.
The Australian national claimed that he never hurt anyone while living inside the ISIS-occupied areas, adding that he was misled when he moved to Syria a few years ago.
“[I feel] remorseful, regretful. I mean, people make mistakes. And you have to pay the price for your mistake,” Masri said.
“What do I think should happen to me now? Whatever God decrees. I’m accepting of that.”
“I would prefer to be prosecuted in Australia or under international law because you have things such as human rights and … justice, so that would be the preferred option.”
Masri insisted he traveled to Syria in January 2015 not as a terrorist but as a misguided devotee of a pure observance of Islam.
“I didn’t see the heads on spikes,” he said, referring to the well-known practice in al-Raqqa’s main square.
“I didn’t see any heads or severed bodies and stuff like that. I wasn’t the type of person to be running around the shops too much … and I don’t like to see beheadings. I don’t like to see those sort of scenes. Nor do I agree with it.”
Masri said he worked in a hospital where his trade skills as a fridge and air-conditioning electrician were put to use.
Should Masri return to Australia, he will face at least ten years in prison for supporting a terrorist organization.