Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


'Britain's white jihadi' a teen from Australia - report

09 March 2015, 10:02

Sydney - A westerner pictured alongside Islamic State group fighters and dubbed "Britain's white jihadi" is in fact an Australian teenager who converted to Islam, a report said on Monday.

A photo of the meek-looking youth, holding a rifle and sitting in between two jihadists with a black ISIS flag in the background, emerged on Twitter in late December.

At the time the militant group, which has run rampant through swathes of Iraq and Syria, hailed his recruitment as "a major coup" with the British media dubbing him "Britain's white jihadi".

Doubts about the authenticity of the picture subsequently emerged after a blogger claimed he had fabricated the image to hoax the British press.

But Australia's Fairfax Media said the photograph had now been positively identified by friends of the teenager and members of two mosques in Melbourne.

It identified him as a former high-achieving 18-year-old student called Jake, declining to reveal his full name at the request of a family member.

He was described as a maths whiz who attended the Craigieburn Secondary College in Melbourne but dropped out in the middle of last year after converting to Islam and buying a one-way ticket to Istanbul en route to Iraq and Syria.

Also read: Boko Haram pledges allegiance to Islamic State

His identification came after Australia stopped two teenage brothers at Sydney airport believed to be heading to the Middle East to fight, amid growing concern in Western countries over young people joining jihadist groups.

Other cases

That case followed three British schoolgirls leaving their London homes to join ISIS in Syria in February.

"He used to come here when we had a big lecture," Abu Zaid, a committee member of the Hume Islamic Youth Centre in Coolaroo, told Fairfax Media of Jake.

"He was a very quiet guy, he stuck to himself. We weren't close to him. I didn't see any of the people [getting] close to him."

The newspaper said the youth now goes by the Islamic names Abdur Raheem or Abu Abdullah.

It said that two months after his disappearance, he contacted his family to tell them he was in Iraq training for a "martyrdom mission" with a suicide vest.

He later called again to say he was "too scared to do it and he prefers being a soldier" and was planning to travel to Syria.

Around 140 Australians have travelled to fight with ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq, with another 150 supporting them at home, the government has said.

‘Death cult’

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said indoctrination was happening in unexpected places and that the government was dealing with the issue.

"Too many Australians, it seems, are being brainwashed online by this death cult," he said, referring to ISIS.

"Very importantly, we are about to begin a very big campaign to try to counter the influence that the death cult has, particularly online on vulnerable Australians."

Abbott did not provide further details, but last month flagged changes to immigration laws to allow the government to revoke or suspend Australian citizenship for dual nationals implicated in terrorism.

There are also plans for returning foreign fighters to be prosecuted or monitored under control orders, while Canberra has pledged a crackdown on organisations that incite religious or racial hatred.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Kalonzo says he will defeat UhuRu...

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has expressed confidence that he will send the Jubilee government home in the upcoming Presidential election. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Why Caffeine Is Used for Weight L...

The following are the reasons why caffeine is used for weight loss. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What guys want in relationships

Here are the top four things guys need in a relationship. Read more...

Submitted by
EACC recovers KES3.5 million stol...

EACC has recovered KES 3.5 million stolen from Mukurwe-ini Constituency Development Fund (CDF) by former committee members managing the kitty. Read more...

Submitted by
Governor snubs Mashujaa Day celeb...

The Governor was last seen in public during his impeachment debate at Senate, which he survived, and later went India for medical checkups. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
President recognises Kenya’s new ...

From young innovators, to doctors and local athletes who have represented Kenya in various events, here are the young heroes recognised by the President in this year's Mashujaa Day celebrations. Read more...