A notorious jihadi bride who fled Australia as a teenager to marry an ISIS fighter has had her citizenship stripped, potentially leaving her two children stateless.
The New Daily has confirmed that Zehra Duman, 25, has been notified of the cancellation of her citizenship.
Ms Duman has two children, Jarrad, aged three, and Layla, aged one.
But the case could trigger a High Court challenge to the constitutional validity of Australia’s legal right to summarily cancel the citizenship of the Melbourne-born woman.
This week, a woman believed to be Ms Duman told Australian Associated Press that she was prepared to be left behind in Syria, if Australia will rescue her children.
‘Forget me, I just want my kids to see my family, to see hospitals, medication, psychologists, have a normal childhood,’ she said.
‘You know what my son says when [my daughter] is sleeping, look Mummy [she’s] dead. This is messed up, he’s three years old, how can he know what death is?’
The teenager shocked family and friends when she fled Australia in 2014 to join the Islamic State and married a Melbourne ‘playboy’ ISIS fighter Mahmoud Abdullatif.
She is accused of being an active recruiter of ISIS brides.
Ms Duman was a close friend of Tara Nettleton, the wife of Australia’s most notorious terrorist Khaled Sharrouf.
She is accused of being an active recruiter of jihadi brides who once taunted authorities on social media to “catch me if you can”.
Kamalle Dabboussy, the father of another ISIS bride, Mariam fighting to return, said Ms Duman was highly distressed by the decision.
“Zehra spoke to my daughter about it. She was most upset for her children more than herself,” he told The New Daily.
“There’s no way she can get to Turkey. Basically those children are now stateless.
“The decision was made without any ability for her to defend herself. There’s no natural justice applied.”
As the White House confirmed it would withdraw from the region in anticipation of Turkish forces moving to take control of northern Syria, Mr Dabboussy said the mothers and children in the refugee camps were distressed.
“We are greatly concerned and they are panicked. We have been telling the government for months that the window of opportunity to get them out is still open,” he said.
Since 2015, Australia has cancelled the citizenship of 12 citizens for participating in terrorism under a top secret process, including two women.
They include jailed Australian terrorist Neil Prakash and Khaled Sharrouf, who is believed to have been killed in a Coalition air strike.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the Australian government remained in close consultation with our allies about this development.
“Australia remains concerned for the welfare of Australians in internally displaced persons camps in Syria and funds humanitarian agencies to deliver aid and support into the camps,” she said.
“As we have made clear, we will not put Australian officials, forces or our public in danger so any repatriation will occur only if safe to do so.”
Ms Duman was the first person to confirm the survival of the Sharrouf children when she was discovered in a refugee camp earlier this year.
She told aid workers when she resurfaced at a refugee camp this year: “I want to go back to my country”.
“They have placed their children in this horrendous position,” Mr Morrison said.
“They have to take responsibility for those decisions to join up with terrorists who are fighting Australia. I think the children are innocent victims in the terrorist acts of their parents.”
Mr Morrison has previously warned that Australia is “not in a position to offer any safe passage for people who are in that part of the world”.
“This will be a very complex case and Australia will make decisions consistent with our national security interests,” the PM said.
“Obviously the issue of the children involved is also a very sensitive one. The children can’t be held responsible for the crimes of their parents.”
Four years ago, social media accounts believed to be run by Ms Duman under the name Umm Abdullatif posted pictures of ISIS women carrying assault rifles and standing next to luxury cars.
Earlier this year she said she understood Australian anger towards ISIS brides but begged for mercy for her children.
“My kids have a right to be treated like normal kids,” she said in a video at Al Hawl refugee camp that was sent to the ABC.
“I have no money. I’m not allowed to have money. They don’t give us food here and they don’t let us contact our families,” Ms Duman said.
“I understand the anger that they have towards a lot of us here, but the kids don’t need to suffer.”
Her father, Davut Duman, said his teenage daughter had been “brainwashed” by terrorists.