His much older sibling, who declined to be named, said Mr Masri had been a «typical Aussie kid» throughout his youth who «never did anything to anyone.»
«It’s really sad,» the man who claims to be his stepbrother said, adding he wasn’t even aware the 26-year-old had journeyed overseas.
He said the last time he had seen Mr Masri was about seven years ago. Back then, he had never openly expressed any desire to travel to the Middle East and was busy working as a fridge and air-conditioning electrician.
Mr Masri told the Herald that he travelled to Syria in January 2015 and joined what he now accepts is an «evil» terrorist organisation as a misguided devotee of Islam. He said he never engaged in fighting, instead putting his trade skills to use in a hospital.
His stepbrother, who describes his younger sibling as a «reasonable» and «honest kid», said it was not like Mr Masri to join such a brutal organisation.
Mr Masri has since married an Australian woman and has fathered three children, with a fourth child on the way — a fact his Sydney relative said he’d only heard a few weeks before.
The stepbrother wants to see Mr Masri return to Australia safely, along with his new family.
«At the end of the day, I want him home.»