Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Tracy Linford said those attracted to ISIS were mostly young, isolated people swayed by slick social media propaganda.

In the case of women, they often had a romantic idea of what life would be like under ISIS control, she said, adding that at least 12 had attempted to join from Melbourne, Victoria's capital city.

"We've got five that we know are over there," Linford said, adding that two more were unaccounted for, four were turned back outside Australia and one was stopped at the airport before leaving.

"But we also suspect that there are probably more than 12," said Linford.

Linford's comments came just days after a Sydney mother reportedly abandoned her two children and fled to Syria for a new life under ISIS.

"We think that the young women particularly get a romanticized view of what actually exists for them if they travel to the conflict zones," she said.

Latest News from World News Desk