An Australian teen accused of carrying out a suicide attack in Iraq may have had a larger attack planned for Melbourne before fleeing to the Middle East.
Jake Bilardi reportedly left his home and family in Melbourne to fight with ISIS, and reports this week claimed that the Australian teen carried out a suicide attack in Iraq.
“I can confirm that the Australian government is currently seeking to independently verify reports that 18-year-old Melbourne teenager Jake Bilardi has been killed in a suicide bombing attack in the Middle East,” said Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
“If these reports are confirmed, this is another tragic example of a young Australian being lured to a senseless and violent death by a brutal terrorist organization that is intent on imposing suffering and misery not only in Iraq and Syria but beyond.”
The suicide attack, which took place in the Anbar province west of Baghdad, was part of a larger attack against Iraqi troops that left 10 dead and up to 30 injured. There was a total of 21 suicide attacks on Wednesday.
Now reports claim that the Jake Bilardi may have had other attacks planned back home. A blog obtained by the Guardian Australia reportedly written by Bilardi included plans for “a string of bombings across Melbourne, targeting foreign consulates and political/military targets as well as grenade and knife attacks on shopping centres and cafes.”
The attacks would end “with myself detonating a belt of explosives amongst the kuffar,” Bilardi reportedly wrote.
Bilardi went on to write that he began preparing for the terrorist attacks, but grew fearful of being caught and instead fled to Syria.
Originally an atheist, Bilardi wrote how he grew angry with the Australian government’s involvement in the War on Terror. The teen admitted that he was still an atheist when he started to become radicalized, but later converted to Islam.
After scrapping the plans to attack Melbourne, the Australian teen reportedly sought out a contact to help him fight alongside ISIS.
“I continued my search for a contact, even at one point considering simply crossing the border alone without any assistance. Finally, I made contact with a brother online who promised to bring me across the border, it was a risky decision to trust someone online but I was desperate to leave and was confident the brother was genuine,” he wrote.
The Australian teen killed in the suicide bombing wrote that he actually signed up for a previous suicide mission in Baiji, Iraq, but after making “mistakes,” he turned to fighting in the city. In the blog, Jake Bilardi wrote that he then signed up for another “martyrdom mission” in Ramadi, the attack that took place this week.
[Image via Twitter]