Missing Sydney teen resurfaces in Isis group video: reports
A teenager who ran away from Australia to join jihadists in Iraq and Syria has reappeared months later in an ISIS video, vowing to “not stop fighting,” reports said Tuesday.
The 17-year-old, named in local media as Abdullah Elmir but who calls himself “Abu Khaled,” carried a rifle and directly addressed Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the video reportedly posted online, the Sydney Morning Herald said.
“To Tony Abbott, I say this. These weapons that we have, these soldiers, we will not stop fighting,” said Elmir, whose family is from the southwestern Sydney suburb of Bankstown.
“We will not put down our weapons until we reach your lands and until we take the head of every tyrant and until the black flag (of ISIS) is flying high in every single land.”
A spokesman for the prime minister said in a statement the video showed the threat posed by ISIS.
“As the Prime Minister has said on many occasions, ISIS is a threat that reaches out to Australia and our allies and partners,” the spokesman said.
“That is why Australia has joined the coalition to disrupt and degrade ISIS in Iraq and is giving our law enforcement and security agencies the powers and resources they need to keep Australia and Australians as safe as possible.”
Australia raised its terror threat level in September to “high” after years on “medium” on growing concern about returning jihadists, while Abbott has warned that those fighting with extremists could face lengthy jail terms if they come home.
Several men were arrested in counter-terrorism raids in September and charged with recruiting, funding and sending jihadist fighters to Syria. One of them was last week facing fresh charges of preparing a terrorist attack on home soil.
Australia has also joined the US-led international coalition against the Islamic State group, with its combat aircraft conducting their first air strikes in Iraq in early October.
Elmir was reported to have left his family home in June, telling his family he was going fishing before later calling his mother to tell her he was in Turkey about to “cross the border.”
The lawyer representing the family said at the time that his mother believed her son was going to Iraq.
The teenager reportedly left the country with a 16-year-old boy called “Feiz” who was found by his father and brought back to Australia.