19/03/2016 10:46 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Karen Nettleton Embarks On Journey To Syria To Rescue Her Grandchildren


The mother-in-law of Australian Islamic State terrorist Khaled Sharrouf is embarking on a mission to recover her grandchildren who are trapped in Syria.

TheDaily Telegraph revealed Karen Nettleton flew to Abu Dhabi with her solicitor Robert van Aalt on Thursday night.

It is understood that the pair will travel to Turkey before attempting to reach Syria to locate Nettleton’s five grandchildren who are believed to be in the ISIS-controlled city of Raqqa.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the pair were questioned by authorities before leaving Sydney.

It is understood that the trip has been self-funded, although they are accompanied by a camera crew.

Karen Nettleton’s daughter Tara, 31, married Islamic State terrorist Khaled Sharrouf and later followed him to Syria, with their five children in tow.

It was reported last month that Tara Nettleton died in Syria from complications associated with appendicitis.

Karen Nettleton has spoken previously about her anguish over losing her daughter and grandchildren.

It is not known whether Sharrouf -- who left Australia to join the Islamic State in December 2013 using his brother’s passport -- is alive.

He came to prominence after posting a photograph on social media of one of his sons holding the severed head of a Syrian soldier, captioned: "That’s my boy".

Sharrouf’s 15-year-old daughter -- who married a fellow Australian terrorist Mohamed Elomar and gave birth to a baby girl last September -- was reportedly killed in a drone strike last year.

The journey has been confirmed by Ms Nettleton’s barrister, Charles Waterstreet.

He said the Australian Federal Police was aware of the move.

"I cannot comment in more detail at this stage as I don't wish to endanger the children," he said.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has previously said the federal government could not help to repatriate the Sharrouf children.

“The children are the victims of their parents’ extremist ideology and reckless decision to travel to Syria… this is a tragic circumstance for the children, who are in a warzone through no fault of their own,” she said last year following their mother’s death.

“Due to the extremely dangerous security situation there, the Australian Government has no capacity to provide consular assistance.”

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the Government would need to consider under what circumstances it could bring the children home.

“The Government’s clear objective is to keep the Australian public safe, and we’d have to look at the individual circumstances to see what the kids have been exposed to... whether or not later in life they’d pose a threat,” he said.