Neil Prakash: The at a loss for words Buddhist who turned into a best IS jihadist

Screengrab from video showing Australian Islamic State militant Neil Prakash Image caption Prakash, also known as Abu Khaled al-Cambodi, seemed in IS propaganda videos

Someday in the center of 2012, a friend of Neil Prakash requested the young Australian if he was spiritual.

“I’m a Buddhist,” stated Prakash, “however i believe there may be a god, a deity”.

“You’re no longer a Buddhist then,” answered the friend, “you’re at a loss for words”.

The simple change marked the beginning of a journey, literal and non secular, that took Prakash from his house the city of Melbourne to the heartland of the so-referred to as Islamic State.

Neil Prakash, Buddhist and sometime wannabe rapper, changed into Abu Khaled al-Cambodi, dedicated jihadist and most sensible IS recruiter.

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Prakash started spending time at Melbourne’s Al Furqan Islamic Centre and bookstall, the place he was once radicalised via Mehicevic and others, however for more than a 12 months after his conversion he didn’t significantly change his manner of life. He grew annoyed and ashamed.

“i assumed to myself, what am I doing? i’ve a role, i have an income, a automobile, a house, what sacrifice have I made? What have I performed for the sake of Allah? All the ones nights I slept in comfort, i believed concerning the other folks in a foreign country within the Muslim lands which might be suffering.”

So Prakash started to commit himself unsparingly to Islam. He sold his possessions and prepared to undertake the Hijrah – a adventure in another country for the reason for Islam. In 2013, he travelled by way of Malaysia to Raqqa in Syria, the de-facto capital of IS and, in his personal words, “the land of jihad”.

‘Most unhealthy Australian’

Once in Syria, Prakash was once invited via an IS fighter to “come to Dawlah”, forcing the young convert to confess he didn’t recognise the Arabic identify for the gang.

“i used to be considering ‘Dawlah? What’s Dawlah?’ … I only knew the English identify, Islamic State.”

But IS introduced him into the fold. “There are so much of brothers from Australia that wish to meet you,” the fighter said.

Prakash has considering that been linked to several terror plots on his house soil, together with a knife attack in opposition to two policemen by 18-year-antique Numan Haider, who was once shot useless, and a foiled plan to assault police on Anzac Day, Australia’s warfare memorial day.

Image copyright Fb Symbol caption Prakash was once linked to a knife assault on Australian police by Numan Haider, pictured

In April 2015, a 12-minute IS propaganda video surfaced in which Prakash praises Haider for finishing up an assault. He also tells the story of his conversion and, with increasing fervour, calls on others to observe him.

“If somebody was to inform me three years in the past i might be dwelling under Sharia, amongst Muslims, i might inform them they had been crazy,” he says. “However look at the mercy of Allah, glance what he has deliberate for me, and he can plan this for you too. All you may have to do is consider!”

Saying Prakash’s dying ultimate 12 months, Australian lawyer normal George Brandis referred to as the IS fighter the “most deadly Australian” and stated the country should be “gladdened” via the scoop, but he warned against complacency. In hindsight, his statement used to be both premature and prophetic.

Michael Keenan, an Australian counter-terror legitimate, mentioned the government could not touch upon the reviews that Prakash was once alive.

“the federal government stated Prakash’s demise in Would Possibly on the basis of recommendation from the u.s. govt that he were killed in an air strike,” he mentioned in a press release.

“But as we’ve said up to now, the federal government’s capability to confirm experiences of deaths in both Syria or Iraq is restricted. Those puts are warfare zones, with many ungoverned spaces.”

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