Chantele Hoey and her son Seth, who was treated by Dr Tareq Kamleh, who was filmed in an Islamic State propaganda video.
Chantele Hoey and her son Seth, who was treated by Dr Tareq Kamleh, who was filmed in an Islamic State propaganda video. Chantele Hoey

Mum says doctor in IS video seemed like a 'normal bloke'

HE WAS patient, well-spoken and her son liked him as a doctor, which was why Mackay mother Chantele Hoey was surprised to see Dr Tareq Kamleh as the face of Islamic State's newest propaganda video.

On Tuesday, the former Mackay doctor featured in his second propaganda video with a long beard, assault rifle and armoured clothing - a vast contrast to when he was called to the emergency department to treat Ms Hoey's son, Seth.

"He was always professional and well-spoken, he was patient and Seth really liked him," Ms Hoey said.

Dr Kamleh spent 10 months working at Mackay Base Hospital as a paediatric registrar in 2013 after training to be a doctor in Adelaide.

Two years later it's believed he moved to Raqqa in Syria and signed up with Islamic State.

It's the second known time he has featured in a propaganda video. In the first he was filmed calling on other doctors to join and treat civilians who were injured by Coalition air strikes.

It was at this time the South Australian Joint Counter Terrorism Team obtained a warrant for Dr Kamleh's arrest during a closed-court hearing, which police confirmed remained in force.

On Tuesday, after not being sighted for two years, another video of Dr Kamleh emerged.

"It really surprises me of how the Muslim nation is acting at the moment and how stagnant you have become," Dr Kamleh says in the video, reportedly filmed in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

"We are under continuous bombing here and we are fighting hard to hold the lands of Islam, and hold that only the law of Allah is implemented in these lands."

Doctors who worked alongside Dr Kamleh in Mackay told Fairfax media they believed that it was during a camping trip out of Mackay that he changed from a non-practising Muslim to a radical Muslim. By their reports, before that he was charming and liked by his patients.

"At that point in time he did seem like a normal bloke," Ms Hoey said. "The first time we met Tareq was when he was called down to the (emergency department) for a paediatric review of my son. After that he saw my son a few more times in the (emergency department) and when he was admitted to the children's ward.

In a letter to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency in 2015, Dr Kamleh denied being recruited during a camping trip.

"I have come here as there are locals suffering from normal medical conditions despite being surrounded by war, with an overt lack of qualified medical care," he wrote in reference to his presence in Syria.

"Is it not my humanitarian duty to help these children also, or only kids with white skin and blue passports," he wrote.

Yesterday police confirmed the former paediatrics registrar was the subject of an ongoing investigation and that if he returned to Australia authorities would seek to arrest him immediately on terror charges.

What others said on Facebook:

Jessica Jackson-Gee: So much hate! It's quite sad really. Do you think that maybe, just maybe if we treated Muslims like human beings and with the same respect we command as a race they wouldn't be... running off to support the evil doers? You start treating innocent people like criminals that's what they may decide to become. ISIS are the terrorists not the entire Muslim race! It's sad to lose a good person to war. He made a choice, I'm sure he will pay for his crimes. Sad all round.

Jeanette Thompson: What a waste of a mind, sounds like he did and could have gone on to make such a wonderful difference in people's lives but he chose not to.

Hailee Curry: Andrew we were talking about him today. Meegan remember this? He was actually so good with Phoenix.