A young Islamic State (IS) soldier fighting in Syria and prominent on social media is an Australian teenager named Jake from Melbourne.
After reports surfaced on Fairfax Media Monday morning, the teenager, who has been going by the name Abu Abdullah on Twitter, confirmed himself that a photo had been leaked. The report included two photos, one of the teenager while at school and another of him with two IS fighters, a black Islamic flag draped in the background.
He wrote on his Twitter account : “No matter who released that photo of me, the real problem was people in Australia speaking to the media. If an akh [brother] released it, I forgve [sic] you.”
It followed a tweet first thing Monday morning from the 18-year-old: “So it appears I’m all over the news in Australia now as well. Hmmm, it all started with the one photo no-one said would reach the Internet.”
Jake was first identified as “Britain’s White Jihadi” by UK publications in December, but Mashable has confirmed Jake actually comes from a non-muslim family in Craigieburn, Melbourne. He attended Craigieburn Secondary School, before converting to Islam in recent years and dropping out of high school a year before completion of his studies.
Classmate Josh Green-Mercier told Mashable he had no idea Jake was capable of joining the Islamist group fighting in Syria. “[I had] no idea, I didn’t think he could do something like that,” Green-Mercier said.
He said Jake was a loner in school who “was very depressed, always looked down and rarely talked” and that no one he knew was in contact with Jake today.
Read more: mashable.com