An Australian nurse, who has said that Isis forced him to work as a medic in Syria, could become the first person to be charged under counter-terrorism laws when he returns to Sydney.
Tough new laws which have come into place in Australia make it illegal to enter the so-called Islamic State’s de facto capital of al-Raqqa in Syria without good reason.
Adam Brookman, 39, from Melbourne, surrendered to the authorities in Turkey, and on Friday will voluntarily fly back to Australia with a police escort, Australian Federal Police said in a statement.
The father-of-five is “subject to ongoing investigations” but has not been charged, police said.
The statement went on: “The public can rest assured that any Australian who is identified as a threat to security will be investigated by the relevant agencies.
“If there is evidence an Australian has committed a criminal offence under Australia law while involved in the conflict in Syria and Iraq, they will be charged and put before the courts.”
Brookman, a Muslim convert, said earlier this year that he went to Syria to carry out humanitarian work for civilians caught up in the conflict and was innocent of any crime.
In an interview with Fairfax Media, he said that Isis forced him to join the group after he was injured in an air strike and taken to a hospital controlled by the extremist group.
"After I recovered, they wouldn't let me leave," he told Fairfax, and stressed that he opposed Isis’ violent actions.
Brookman gained the militants’ trust by working as a medic, and fled to Turkey in December before contacting the authorities.
The nurse said that he understands he will be investigated, adding: “Hopefully things don't look that bad.”
The investigators will likely attempt to uncover whether Brookman was in Syria on 4 December when Australia made being in al-Raqqa a crime punishable by 10 years in prison.
If charged, Brookman would have to prove whether he had a legitimate to be in Isis’ stronghold.
Additional reporting by APReuse content