"Horrendous," "barbaric," and "depraved" are just a few of the words being used to describe an image posted on Twitter and in the Australian of an Aussie terrorist's young son appearing to tightly and cheerfully grasp the head of a decapitated Syrian soldier. "That's my boy!" is what Khaled Sharrouf posted underneath the gruesome pic on his feed, reports the AP. (Click on the Australian's link to see an edited version of the photo.) Referring to the Islamic State, or ISIS, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the photo shows "the kind of hideous atrocities that this group is capable of."
For his part, Sharrouf's brother, Mostafa, who lives in Sydney, thinks everyone should just "forget" about the controversial photo. "I'm sure you've seen much worse than that," he says in the Sydney Morning Herald. Last month, Australian police issued arrest warrants for Sharrouf and companion Mohamed Elomar after they posted images of Elomar holding two severed heads. Both are Australian citizens who left for Syria to fight. Other reactions to the image of the boy, who looks to be 10 or younger:
- US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the photo is "pretty graphic evidence of the real threat that (Islamic State) represents."
- "What's that child going to think? What's he going to be like for the rest of his life?" Peter Leahy, the former chief of the Australian Army, asked Sky News.
- "This is an act of a lunatic," says the head of the Lebanese Muslim Association in Australia.