The former head of the controversial al-Risalah Islamic Centre in Bankstown said the four El Baf brothers who fled Australia to join Islamic State in Syria would be given a free house and he whole heartedly supported their decision.

Wissam Haddad said he knew the El Baf family but not the brothers Omar, 28, Bilal, 25, Hamza, 23, and Taha, 17, personally.

The brothers told their parents they were going to Thailand but later sent a text indicating they were in Syria.

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