A man who killed himself in a suicide bombing in eastern Syria this week is believed to be an Australian citizen, Attorney-General George Brandis says.
Senator Brandis said the federal government understood the alleged bomber was an Australian citizen.
“If that’s confirmed, it would be the first time an Australian citizen has killed himself in a suicide bombing,” he told the Senate during question time on Wednesday.
He said it was illegal under Australian law for citizens or dual citizens to fight for either side in the Syrian conflict.
The government is concerned about Australians fighting in Syria amid reports some are joining the ranks of Jabhat al-Nusra, which is on the Attorney-General’s proscribed list of terrorist organisations.
“We’re also concerned about the likelihood of radicalised Australians returning home with … an increased capability to commit violent acts on our shore,” Senator Brandis said.
He said the Foreign Affairs minister was able to cancel the passport of anyone likely to have engaged in harmful conduct.
The government was considering other measures to discourage Australians travelling to Syria to fight in the civil war, he said.
The ABC named the bomber as a man from Brisbane called Ahmed.
The broadcaster also reported that the sibling of the man it named denied the allegation and said his brother was alive and well in Turkey.
The Australian Federal Police later declined to comment on this particular case.