Australian welfare authorities have been slammed after reports they turned a blind eye on the children of notorious terrorist families.
Despite alleged attempts to behead innocent victims, a 16-year-old step-son of a senior jihadist extremist, who was arrested two weeks ago in Bankstown armed with a bayonet, had never been visited by the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS).
Sydney GP and Muslim community leader Dr Jamal Rifi said the children of radicalised families are victims of their parents and a lack of action from authorities.
The 16-year-old first appeared on the radar of counter-terrorism authorities more than four years ago when he carried a sign reading: "behead all those who insult the prophet" at the 2012 Hyde Park riots.
Two weeks ago he was charged with undertaking “preparation to commit a terrorist act".
Meanwhile, the seven-year-old son of Islamic State fighter Khaled Sharrouf has never contacted by FACS despite photos on social media showing him holding a severed head in 2014.
Even after Sharrouf proudly captioning the photo with: “that’s my boy”, no contact was made.
“We should be able to intervene in the lives of these kids well before they end up in prison,” Dr Rifi wrote in a Daily Telegraph opinion piece.
He said welfare interventions should be enforced, regardless of whether the families of terrorist identities wanted them or not, stating that the needs of the children far outweighed the wants of the family.
It has been reported that members of the Muslim community feared they would be targeted for raising the alarm.
A FACS spokesman said they were aware the public's concern were at odds with their practices, but reiterated that they would not make comment on certain matters like the Bankstown arrest.
“The decision to remove a child from their parents is not a decision taken lightly; other options are always explored and all decisions to remove children at risk of significant harm are overseen by the courts, which make the final decisions," the spokesman said.
“FACS provides a range of services to vulnerable children and their families.
“The level and type of intervention will vary depending on the identified risk and the needs of the child and/or young person.”