An Australian nurse who voluntarily returned home from Syria after allegedly supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group faces up to 25 years’ jail after being charged with terrorism offences.
The 39-year-old, Adam Brookman, faced a Melbourne court on Sunday after surrendering himself to officials in Turkey on Tuesday, Australian Federal Police said.
He is the first Australian known to have returned home from ISIL-controlled territory.
Brookman, who arrived back in Australia on Friday night, was charged with one count of knowingly providing support to a terrorist organisation, which carries a maximum jail time of 25 years.
The father of five faces up to 10 years in prison for a second charge of performing services with the intention of supporting a person, or persons, to engage in a hostile activity in a foreign state.
“Matters such as this ultimately concern community safety, and we make no apology in taking action against people who may bring a radicalised ideology, and potentially other skills, back to Australia,” Neil Gaughan, federal police national manager for counter-terrorism assistant commissioner, said in a statement.
“There is no evidence of a threat in Australia in this instance, and the ongoing safety of the community was the primary factor in all of the arrangements made to facilitate this individual’s return to Australia.”
Brookman made no application for bail in his brief appearance in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court and was remanded in custody for a hearing on Monday.
In an interview with Australia’s Fairfax Media in May, Brookman said he first travelled to Syria to perform humanitarian work, but had been forced to join ISIL when he was injured in an air strike and treated at a hospital controlled by the armed group, north of Aleppo.