Just over weeks after the hostage crisis in Sydney which left three people dead, terrorism is rearing its ugly head again in Australia with a suspected jihadi threatening the police on social media.
The Daily Mail Australia refers to tweets by a man who called himself Abu Abdullah, believed to be from Melbourne, who also claimed to be fighting for the virulent jihadi organisation, the Islamic State (IS), in Iraq.
On Dec 25, Abdullah tweeted: “…I’ve seriously considered coming back and following Sheikh Adnani’s fatwa in Australia.”
Shaykh Abu Mohammad al-Adnani al-Shami is the official IS spokesman and a senior leader of the terrorist group.
A day later, replying to a tweet posted by the Australian Federal Police about two men being charged by the Joint Terrorism Team in Sydney, Abdullah said: “Keep going, Martin Place was just the beginning for you dogs.”
On Dec 15, a gunman had taken 17 people hostage inside the Lindt Chocolat Cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place. The hostage crisis ended Dec 16, after police stormed the cafe.
Three people, including the gunman were killed in the incident – the first terror attack in Australia.
The suspected jihadi contacted Zaky Mallah — the first person charged with terrorism in Australia — through Twitter Dec 24 and since then, Mallah has been monitoring Abdullah’s Twitter conversations.
Mallah, 30, from Westmead in Sydney was jailed in maximum security for two years before being acquitted of terrorism charges.
As a moderate, Mallah is now a very vocal critic of the IS. It was because of this that he was contacted by Abdullah who he now believes is from Melbourne. Abdullah began tweeting him questions asking why he was against the IS.
“What struck me the most was that some of the things he said on Twitter were very disturbing and he also commented on the Australian Federal Police’s Twitter account calling them ‘dogs’,” Mallah said.
“What I think I have learned from his conversations on Twitter with me and others is that he is an Australian called Jake who used to live in Melbourne. He’s already tried to make contact on Twitter with a friend at the Hume Islam Youth Centre (HIYC) in Melbourne.”
Abdullah is reported to have told his friend that he was in Ramadi in central Iraq.
“This guy is serious enough to leave Australia and join the IS. So all the signs are there. It’s a new Twitter account. We don’t know what he’s up to, but through Twitter, he’s clearly creating a network of people he knows in Australia,” Mallah said.
In response to the revelations, a spokesperson for the Australian Attorney-General’s department said that they would continue to do all that they could to support community leaders, who play “a critical role in dissuading young Australians from becoming radicalised and travelling to the conflict zones to fight”.
“The government is committed to working with our communities to combat the radicalisation of young Australians and violent extremism. We have consulted with experts and with representatives of the community on the best way to keep the Australian community safe,” the spokesperson said.