Australian teenager left explosives at home before joining IS
Melbourne: An Australian teenager who has been linked to a suicide bombing attack in Iraq, left improvised explosive devices (IED) at his family home in Melbourne before going to Syria, media reported today.
Jake Bilardi’s family located the devices and alerted authorities, ABC reported.
Following the discovery, Australian authorities began attempting to track Bilardi’s movements in the Middle East.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she did not want to confirm on reports whether Bilardi was involved in planning an attack in Australia.
Bishop said she had been aware of Bilardi’s presence in the Middle East for a number of months, the report said.
“Indeed, we are aware that he travelled overseas last August,” she said.
“In October, on the advice of our security agencies, I cancelled his Australian passport,” Bishop was quoted as saying in the report.
An IS statement issued on Wednesday claimed Bilardi was among the latest group of suicide bombers that struck in Iraq’s Anbar province.
One image showed a suicide bomber dubbed Abu Abdullah al-Australi – Bilardi’s pseudonym – before he attacked an Iraqi army unit west of Baghdad.
It featured a four-wheel drive with a smashed, taped-up rear window moving down a dusty backstreet.
An inset image showed a pale-skinned, long-haired young man who resembled Bilardi sitting behind the wheel.
Twelve car bombs exploded almost simultaneously around the city of Ramadi in Iraq on Wednesday morning with at least seven suicide bombers targeting government security installations, police said.
At least 17 people were killed and 38 injured, an Iraqi official said.
Bishop said the government was working to verify if Bilardi died in the attack.