AUSTRALIA’S most senior Islamic State fighter has urged Muslim youths to launch attacks at home in an alarming new propaganda video.
Neil Prakash, also known as Abu Khaled Al Cambodi, may have been in contact with several teens arrested in last Saturday’s anti-terror raids which foiled a chilling Anzac Day terror plot.
“I send a message to my brothers, my beloved brothers in Islam in Australia,” Prakash says in the 12-minute video.
“Now is the time to rise, now is the time to wake up … You must start attacking before they attack you.”
The propaganda video appears to be a new release from Islamic State but it is unclear whether it was filmed before or after last weekend’s events.
Prakash, from Melbourne, rose through Islamic State ranks after travelling to Syria to fight. He is believed to be a key terrorist recruiter.
He had attended the controversial Al-Furqan centre in Springvale South where some teens arrested on Saturday had also visited and prayed.
Prakash spoke of his “dear brother Numan”, believed to be Numan Haider, who was shot down while stabbing two police officers last year.
“I knew this brother personally,” Prakash said. “When he failed because the Government took his passport, it did not stop him. Look what he did brothers.”
Prakash is pictured carrying a rifle, praying with other soldiers and walking through parks while children play in a heavily-edited video.
“The media has portrayed that we come here, that we’re social outcasts, that we had nobody, that we have to turn to Islam because we were just troublemakers in the past,” he said.
“But this is far from the reality.”
“We came to establish a state, we came to give our blood, we came to pave the way towards establishing the caliphate (Islamic State).”
Monash University terrorism expert Professor Greg Barton said the video had been foreshadowed recently to promote Prakash’s rise as a recruiter.
“It’s very likely to be genuine,” he told the Herald Sun this morning.
He said it was “effective marketing” for disaffected youths in Australia and that Prakash’s violent call to arms would “ring true for its target audience”.
Prakash said he followed the news in Australia and saw “this sister was hurt, this sister’s hijab was ripped off”.
“But no, you see the brothers sitting and I ask you brothers, when is the time you’re going to rise up and attack them for attacking you?”
The video follows Prakash’s conversion from Buddhism to Islam and to “the land of jihad”.
He said if he had been told three years ago he would end up fighting with Islamic State, “I would tell them they’re crazy”.
“Look what he has planned for me. He can plan this for you too. All you have to do is put your trust in him,” Prakash said.
Prof Barton said the video provided an interesting insight into how youths were radicalised and ended up with Islamic State.
“Violence is not introduced because of youthful thrillseeking, it’s because of a logic consistent with the finding of truth, and this idea of Muslims being victims as well.”