Jake Bilardi

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Abu Abdullah al-Australi
Born
Jake Bilardi

(1996-12-01)1 December 1996
Died11 March 2015(2015-03-11) (aged 18)
Cause of deathSuicide bombing
NationalityAustralian
Other namesWhite Jihadi
Abu Abdullah al-Australi
Jihadi Jake
Years active2014 – 2015
Known forCoordinated suicide bombing in Ramadi, Iraq
Military career
AllegianceISIL
Years of service2014 – 2015

Abu Abdullah al-Australi (1 December 1996 – 11 March 2015), born Jake Bilardi, dubbed by the media as Jihadi Jake, was an eighteen year old Australian suicide bomber considered among the youngest recruited from a Western nation.[1] Bilardi's background has been described as radically different from other Western recruits and symbolises youth issues more than ideological ones. [2][3]

Life, radicalisation and death[edit]

Born in Craigieburn, Victoria, Bilardi was a shy, lonely boy and student who was reportedly bullied by peers.[4][5] Bilardi kept a blog describing his disdain for United States forces committing crimes against Muslims in the Middle East. He became radical after his mother died of cancer. By 2014, he expressed sympathy for Osama bin Laden on Facebook. Concerned that the Australian government was monitoring him, Bilardi turned to building explosives in the event he would not be able to leave the country.[6] A recruiter for Jabhat al-Nusra made contact with him in August 2014 and he left for Iraq.[7][8][9]

Bilardi died in a suicide attack in Ramadi, Iraq on 11 March 2015. The Iraqi Army stated Bilardi's attack was unsuccessful, killing only himself. ISIL used his death as propaganda, in order to recruit more people to become suicide bombers.[10][11] According to a friend, Bilardi was concerned his family would "spend eternity in hell" for being non-believers.[9]

Reaction[edit]

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, commented on Bilardi's death as an "absolutely horrific situation",[12] stating, "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."[13] Professor Greg Barton, director of the Centre for Islam and the Modern World considers Bilardi a self-radical motivated by underlying mental health issues instead of religious zealotry.[14][15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Liam Quinn; Sarah Dean; Louise Cheer; Sarah Michael (13 March 2015). "Teen jihadist travelled to Middle East with 'a job to do'". Mail Online. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  2. ^ Angela Shanahan (14 March 2015). "Young minds need truth about jihad to prevent another Jake Bilardi". The Australian. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  3. ^ Crowcroft, Orlando (11 March 2015). "Iraq: Isis claim Ramadi suicide bomber was Australian teen jihadi Jake Bilardi". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  4. ^ John Carney; Frank Coletta (22 March 2015). "'The buck stops here with me,' says teenage jihadi's father". Mail Online. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  5. ^ "Australian teen 'killed in IS suicide attack' in Iraq". BBC News. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  6. ^ Bachelard, Michael; Bourke, Latika; Spooner, Rania (13 March 2015). "Teen jihadi Jake Bilardi was preparing to bomb Melbourne". The Age. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 19 December 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  7. ^ Hume, Tim (13 March 2015). "Blog of suspected teen terrorist reveals path to ISIS". CNN. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  8. ^ Hume, Tim; Lister, Tim; Luu, Chieu (12 March 2015). "Melbourne teen killed himself in ISIS attack". CNN. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  9. ^ a b Dowling, James (4 April 2015). "Jihad Jake 'was worried his family would spend eternity in hell'". Herald Sun. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  10. ^ Bachelard, Michael (17 March 2015). "Jake Bilardi's death used for propaganda value by Islamic State". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  11. ^ Dowling, James (17 March 2015). "Jihadi Jake Bilardi was 'weak' and 'sold his soul cheaply', says Islamic State online propaganda". Herald Sun. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  12. ^ Jared Owens (12 March 2015). "Aussie teen Jake Bilardi carries out suicide bombing says Islamic State". The Australian. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  13. ^ Safi, Michael (11 March 2015). "Exclusive: blog shows Australian teen reported dead in Iraq suicide attack had planned bombings in Melbourne". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  14. ^ "Jihad Jake's unusual radicalisation". skynews.com.au. 13 March 2015. Archived from the original on 8 April 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  15. ^ Jonathan Pearlman (23 March 2015). "'White jihadi' father: My son had a death wish and threatened family with violence". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 6 April 2015.