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Australian ’white jihadi’ teen Jake Bilardi involved in Islamic State suicide bombing

Thursday 12 March 2015, by siawi3

March 12, 2015 - 9:53AM


Megan Levy

VIDEO here

Australian teen involved in suicide bombing: report
Unconfirmed reports link Melbourne teenager Jake Bilardi with a series of suicide bombing attacks in the Iraqi city of Ramadi on Wednesday night.
• Blog posts reveal Jake’s journey to jihadism
• Gifted Aussie school dropout fighting for IS
• Why IS victims look so calm

A Melbourne schoolboy who travelled to the Middle East to fight with Islamic State has reportedly been involved in a suicide bombing in Iraq.

Sources linked to Islamic State (IS) reported that 18-year-old Jake Bilardi, from Craigieburn in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, was involved in a suicide attack on the city of Ramadi in Iraq.

A television screenshot of one of the cars reportedly involved in a suicide bombing and (inset) a youth who bears a strong resemblance to Melbourne teen Jake Bilardi. Photo: Supplied

A photograph being circulated on social media shows an image of a white four-wheel-drive, alongside another photograph of a young man, who appears to be Mr Bilardi, sitting in the driver’s seat. The images are said to be taken from an IS propaganda video.

A Twitter account associated with IS has tweeted a photograph of Mr Bilardi with the caption: “For today’s Martyrs”.

Fairfax Media has not been able to independently verify the claims. A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said the Government had been unable to confirm the reports of Mr Bilardi’s involvement in the car bombings.

Unconfirmed reports say Jake Bilardi took part in a suicide bombing. Photo: Facebook

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he had been told of unconfirmed reports of Mr Bilardi’s involvement in a suicide bombing.
“This is a horrific situation, an absolutely horrific situation, and it shows the lure ... of this death cult to impressionable youngsters,” Mr Abbott said.
“It’s very, very important that we do everything we can to try to safeguard our young people against the lure of this shocking, alien and extreme ideology.”

Iraqi officials have confirmed a series of coordinated car bomb attacks were launched on Ramadi, about 90 kilometres west of Baghdad, overnight.
Reuters reported that 13 suicide car bombs were detonated, while the New York Times reported as many as 21 were carried out in what was described as one of the militant group’s fiercest assaults in months.

Hikmat Suleiman, the political adviser to the governor of Anbar, told the New York Times that Iraqi forces in Ramadi were able to keep casualties in the car bombings to a minimum by attacking and thwarting the vehicles as they approached the city.
The Iraqi forces blew up most of the vehicles before they reached their apparent targets, he said.
A medical source said five people were killed in the attacks, but the real figure could be significantly higher.
One of the car bombs exploded near a bridge in the west of the city and damaged part of the bridge, a police source said.

Mr Bilardi is believed to have become radicalised online following the death of his mother from cancer.
He converted to Islam at the age of 16 and started visiting local mosques in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. He also began using the names Abdur Raheem or Abu Abdullah.

The gifted maths student attended Craigieburn Secondary College, before switching to Rosehill Secondary College in Essendon at the beginning of 2014.
However, he dropped out of high school last year and bought a one-way ticket to Turkey, before heading to Iraq and Syria to fight for IS.

In the lead-up to his religious conversion, Mr Bilardi was regularly reading news from the Arab world and making comments on the “evil” of the United States, Israel and Australia. Mr Bilardi’s best friend claimed that Mr Bilardi had self-radicalised on the internet using foreign media sources and a deep belief that significant wrongs had been done against Islam.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said he was yet to be briefed on the case, but he condemned the reported suicide bombing.
“This is just evil. It is unconfirmed, but if it is true it is desperately, desperately sad and tragic,” Mr Andrews told 3AW.

“It really shows that none of us are immune from these events, even though they are occurring on the other side of the world.”
Following reports of the suicide bombing, BBC journalist Secunder Kermani said that he had interviewed the young Australian in December, when the teenager told him he was “chasing death”.