The fate of an Adelaide-trained doctor who became a terrorist recruiter is unknown after Islamic State forces were driven out of the Syrian city of Raqqa.
If Tareq Kamleh is still alive and is captured, he could face decades behind bars in a high-security Australian jail.
Intelligence agencies are on the lookout for Australian and other foreign fighters who fled Raqqa when it was liberated from IS by American- backed Syrian forces. US forces believe up to 100 militants could still be hiding in the city.
Kamleh, who also calls himself Abu Yousef al-Australie, has appeared in IS videos urging Muslims to join the fight in the Middle East or carry out terrorist attacks in Australia.
He spoke to the Sunday Mail in May 2015, during which he insisted he had no plans to return to Australia and that he has “finally returned home”.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said about 80 Australians who joined terror groups in Iraq and Syria were known to have been killed. Intelligence agencies believe another 110 could still be alive.
Authorities were tracking foreign fighters who had fled from Syria, she added.
“We understand that some of the terrorist fighters fled south. We are certainly tracking those whom we believe to be Australian,” she said.
If Kamleh is captured, he could be jailed for up to 25 years for his involvement with a listed terrorist group.
Australian Doctor appears in new ISIS video
Kamleh graduated from the University of Adelaide in 2010 and worked at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
Royal Australian Air Force fighter jets provided support to the Syrian forces that retook Raqqa, which had been Islamic State’s de facto capital in the region. More than 6000 IS militants were killed in Raqqa.
Originally published as Terror net closes on Adelaide ISIS doctor.