Karl Stefanovic erupts over plan to bring ISIS brides back to Australia

TV host Karl Stefanovic has lashed out in response to the federal government's plan to repatriate up to 60 Islamic State brides and children from Syria.

The Labor government is set to implement a rescue mission to bring home 16 women and 42 children who are families of ISIS members, but the Today Show host said there's "no way in the world" they should be allowed to return to Australia.

Stefanovic was speaking with Government Services Minister Bill Shorten on Tuesday morning about the plan amid concerns it could pose ongoing risks to the community in Australia.

Karl Stefanovic and Bill Shorten on Today Show
Karl Stefanovic lashes out in response to the federal government's plan to bring home the wives and children of ISIS members. Source: Nine/Today

The plan had previously been rejected by former home affairs minister Karen Andrew. Her rejection was based on fears of putting Australian officials at risk as well as radicalisation concerns, AAP reported.

Ms Andrews said bringing the relatives of ISIS members back "posed an unnecessary risk and enormous cost". But Shorten on Tuesday insisted that "national security is intact".

"I mean a lot of these kids are under six of course and they didn't have any say in what happened to them, but it is a national security matter and there is probably not much more I can add," Mr Shorten said on the breakfast show.

"I don't have sympathy for some of those blokes who went over there, no sympathy at all, but if you're a kid under six let's not pretend anyone really asked their permission. I can see both points of view."

Karl rejects claims 'some don't have a choice'

While 2GB host and guest on the show Jim Wilson agreed it was a "complex" issue, saying there's a "human side" to it, Stefanovic wasn't convinced.

"I get that, but I think if you make a decision to go overseas with someone and fight for Islamic State, you are making a decision as a family – there is no way in the world you should be allowed to come back here," Stefanovic refuted.

He insisted the families "make that decision when you leave the country when you are going to fight", rejecting Wilson’s claim that "some of them didn’t have a choice".

"What are you going to do, bring them back?" Stefanovic continued.

"What do you do with the partners? [Do] they come back as well? That is the whole thing. You set a precedent saying, ‘Look, it is OK, go and fight and you come back at some point'."

Ms Andrews is of the same thinking and on Monday said "they made their own decisions to be in Syria", News.com.au reported.

"They were complicit generally in the role that they were expected to play, which was to support ISIS and to support the foreign fighters who were there," she said.

"I was incredibly conscious of the fact that these people largely had gone there voluntarily."

The woman and children have been held in al-Roj detention camp in northeast Syria near the Iraqi border for three-and-a-half years following the fall of ­Islamic State in March 2019.

A spokesman for Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil told the ABC any decision on repatriation is informed by national security advice and "it would not be appropriate to comment further".

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.