Australian man accused of going to help ISIS due in court

Story highlights

  • The 39-year-old Australian man is due Monday in a Melbourne court
  • U.S. official: More than 20,000 fighters from over 90 countries have traveled to ISIS battlefield

(CNN)A man accused of going overseas to support ISIS now faces terror-related charges back home.

A 39-year-old Australian is set to appear Monday in a Melbourne court on charges of knowingly providing support to a terrorist organization and supporting a person to engage in a hostile activity in a foreign state, Australian Federal Police said.
Authorities said the man, whose name was not released, is from the Melbourne suburb of Coolaroo. He voluntarily surrendered to Turkish authorities in Turkey last week.
    "We make no apology in taking action against people who may bring a radicalized ideology, and potentially other skills, back to Australia," said Neil Gaughan, assistant commissioner for the federal police's counterterrorism office.
    "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."
    ISIS has gained a reputation for luring supporters around the world -- particularly with its social media prowess. The U.S. State Department has admitted that ISIS' ability to spread its propaganda "is something we have not seen before."
    The terror group has been on a bloody rampage across parts of Iraq and Syria, trying to establish a strict Islamist state.
    More than 20,000 fighters from over 90 countries have traveled to the ISIS battlefield, U.S. National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen testified in February.
    Last month, two Australian terrorists who left the country to fight for ISIS were killed in a drone strike, a relative said. The pair, Khaled Sharrouf and Mohamed Elomar, had tweeted pictures of themselves with the decapitated heads of Syrian government fighters.
    Sharrouf also gained infamy last year when he tweeted a picture of his 7-year-old son holding a severed head. The image was captioned, "That's my boy."