Jake Bilardi carries out suicide bombing
Melbourne teenager, Jake Bilardi (above, middle), has reportedly taken part in a coordinated eight suicide bomb attack in Ramadi. Bilardi drove a white SUV filled with bombs. His attack reportedly killed 10 people and injured 30. The information was posted on the social media pages of pro-ISIS supporters claiming Bilardi was among the latest group of suicide bombers to strike Iraq’s Anbar province.
Visiting rural Victoria this morning, Prime Minister Tony Abbott described the suicide death as an “absolutely horrific situation”.
According to the ABC, Bilardi left a series of explosive devices in his Melbourne home before leaving for Syria in August 2014. The homemade devices were found by his family who notified authorities.
A 4400-word blog post entitled From Melbourne to Ramadi: My Journey was posted on January 15 under Bilardi’s adopted name, Abu Abdullah al-Australi. The post revealed the teen’s desire to carry out “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”.
A Sydney man has alleged that Bilardi from Syria under the name @Abuaustral, the account that sent tweets to the Australian Federal Police after the Lindt Cafe siege saying: “‘Keep going, Martin Place was just the beginning for you dogs”. Both the blog and Twitter account have since been removed.
The Age reported that an aunt, Connie, said the teenager turned to Islam after his mother’s death in 2009. However, a schoolfriend of his did not believe the incident was directly related to his conversion. In 2014 Bilardi dropped out of Rosehill Secondary College in Essendon and travelled to join ISIS via Turkey.
Police investigates Scots College incident
The principal of Scots College, Ian Lambert, has confirmed police are now investigating an incident that took place last month. The incident allegedly involved one Scots College student being held down by one student, while another student molested him. The school did not comment on the specific detail of the incident. NSW Police have confirmed an investigation is under way but were unable to release further details at this stage. The incident occurred at the prestigious school’s Kangaroo Valley campus. The two boys involved in the incident have not been expelled.
Australia’s Grand Mufti visits Jakarta
Australia’s most senior Islamic clerich, the Grand Mufti, has met Indonesia’s religious affairs minister in Jakarta to seek mercy for the Bali Nine ringleaders. Doctor Ibrahim Abu Mohammed asked Lukman Saifuddin to urge the Indonesian government to show mercy to Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Chan and Sukumaran face execution after the Indonesian president Joko Widodo refused to grant them clemency. Dr Mohammed expressed his empathy for the men in a press conference with Sydney Catholic Archbishop, Anthony Fisher last month. “These Sydney born men have had a long time to think about what they have done while in Kerobokan prison and on death row,” Dr Mohammed said.
Family of Parramatta stab victim speak out
The husband and brother of murder victim Prabha Arun Kumar, who was fatally stabbed on Saturday night, have pleaded to the public for any information. Ms Kumar, 41, was walking on a public path in Parramatta Park talking to her husband on the phone when she was attacked and stabbed in the neck. The mother of one was treated at the scene but later died at Westmead Hospital. This morning her husband, Arun Kumar, and brother, Shankar Shetty, spoke at a press conference to help police with the investigation. Detective Superintendent Mick Willing said police were no closer to identifying a motive for the attack.
Queen Victoria and Queen Mary meet in Sydney
The Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria have spent the day in Sydney to mark the 175th anniversary of the Cunard Line. The Queen Mary 2 is one of the world’s largest cruise ships and largest to ever visit Australia. The Queen Victoria arrived in Sydney on Wednesday, bringing over 2000 passengers and a crew of 1000 with it. Queen Mary 2 arrived in Sydney this morning, two months into her 113-night world tour. Fireworks will go off at 9:15 pm as the two ships pass at Athol Bay near Taronga Zoo. A week-long exhibition marking the anniversary is on display at the Opera House from Friday. – Compiled from web sources by Rachel MallTop image taken from an ISIS propaganda video released in December and (above) The Queen Mary 2, photographed by MD Zahin