An Australian man considered a senior recruiter for so-called Islamic State (IS) has been killed in a US air strike in Iraq, Australia’s government says.
Attorney-General George Brandis said US officials had confirmed Neil Prakash was killed in Mosul on Friday.Prakash, also known as Abu Khaled al-Cambodi, was linked to attack plots in Australia and had appeared in propaganda videos and magazines.
Some 110 Australians are estimated to be fighting for IS in the Middle East.
Using the acronym of the previous name of IS, Mr Brandis said that Prakash was a “prominent Isil member and a senior terrorist recruiter and attack facilitator”. “Prakash has been linked to several Australia-based attack plans and calls for lone-wolf attacks against the United States. “He has appeared in Isil propaganda videos and magazines and has actively recruited Australian men, women and children, and encouraged acts of terrorism. “His death disrupts and degrades Isil’s ability to recruit vulnerable people in our community to conduct terrorist acts,” Mr Brandis added.
Mr Brandis said the US had also confirmed that an Australian woman was killed in a separate air strike in Syria on 22 April.
The woman, Shadi Jabar Khalil Mohammad, was the sister of Farhad Jabar – the teenager who killed police worker Curtis Cheng in Sydney last October. She and her Sudanese husband, Abu Saad al-Sudani, who was killed in the strike as well, were also allegedly recruiters for IS.
Prakash, who is of Cambodian and Fijian heritage, converted to Islam from Buddhism in 2012. He left Australia in 2013 and travelled to Syria where he began appearing in propaganda videos and calling for attacks on Australia.
Jabar left Australia the day before her cousin, who had been radicalised, shot Mr Cheng outside a Sydney police station.
This comes after police in Australia recently charged a 16-year-old with preparing an act of terrorism, over an alleged plot to target Anzac Day services.