As you have likely already seen, an alleged ISL home movie entitled ‘Message Of The Mujahid 4’ has been released, of an Australian dude spouting some pretty inflammatory rhetoric.
“This message I deliver it to you, the people of America. I deliver this message to you, the people of Britain. And I deliver this message to you, especially, the people of Australia and I say this about your coalition. You threaten us with this coalition of countries. Bring every nation that you wish to us. Bring every nation that you want to come and fight us. Whether it’s 50 nations or 50 thousand nations it means nothing to us.”
“Bring your planes, bring everything you want to us, because it will not harm us. Why? Because we have Allah and this is something that you do not have.”
“To Obama and to Tony Abbott I say this: these weapons that we have, these soldiers, we will not stop fighting, we will not put down our weapons, until we reach your lands, until we take the head of every tyrant.”
It’s obviously evocative because the people of Australia and our Prime Minister are addressed directly and has captured the imagination of the media. Also, everyone loves a catchy headline and so Abdullah Elmir from Bankstown has been dubbed the ‘Terror Teen’/the ‘Ginger Jihadist.’
Abdullah’s family, namely an unnamed relative, said in a statement to The Daily Telegraph: “What a stupid idiot. We never associated with him, that guy was brainwashed, I don’t know what these kids get into. They don’t know how to fight… They should be getting an education and building this country up.”
As we Aussies are wont to do, looks like someone has already set up a FB page taking the piss. So yeah, if anyone is looking for Falls tickets…
He went on to say that it could influence kids who were leaning towards a similar course of action: “His actual speech is rather banal, but rather banal by our expectations. But for teenagers or 20-something young men, it’s probably quite moving.”
On the other hand, maybe it will impact the prestige factor for people, knowing they’re just signing up regular kids from around the corner – as Groucho Marx once said “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.”
Originally it was both Elmir and his friend 16-year-old mate Feiz who told their parents they were going fishing, only to travel to Perth and then on to Malaysia > Thailand > Turkey > Syria/Iraq. According to his parents and their lawyer Zali Burrows, the Federal Police were thought to be monitoring Abdullah, which of course brings up the question of why they didn’t stop him from travelling overseas. Feiz was intercepted by his dad and brought back to Lebanon.
Burrows told the Australian Associated Press: “The family went to the media today as a plea to the government to bring their boy back. We know they have the intelligence to pinpoint him. The concern is that he’s being used as a tracking device to gather further intelligence, to see where he’s actually going to go.”
Labor Member for Watson Tony Burke spoke to reporters in Canberra and wondered how an Aussie could end up in an IS video saying, “I don’t think anyone I’ve spoken to understands how that transition occurs.” Meanwhile Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm referred to those in the video as “absolute dickheads” and “clowns” and went on to speak about any new laws or powers for security agencies saying, “They’re easy to catch. We don’t need new laws.”
Leah Farrall, a former AFP counter-terrorism intelligence analyst, said of the rhetoric on our side of the pond surrounding this: “I think the Australian Prime Minister has a responsibility to brief the Australian public when there are legislative changes involved and when the threat level has changed. But over and beyond that I think the rhetoric that has been used to address the situation, the Team Australia element and a lot more bravado-based statements that came out in situations like this, should be toned down because it just gives political oxygen to the other side.”
A spokesman for Prime Minister Abbott said: “That is why Australia has joined the coalition to disrupt and degrade ISIL in Iraq and is giving our law enforcement and security agencies the powers and resources they need to keep Australia and Australians as safe as possible.”
Leaders of the Australia Muslim community – who, contrary to the beliefs espoused in the video, also have Allah – said in a statement:
Similarly Jamal Rifi, a Sydney Muslim community leader who has been involved in trying to locate and bring home Elmir, Jamal Rifi, said of the video: “What I saw today made me very upset with a heavy heart because that was a death sentence for this boy.” And of his family: “I really feel for them, because today they probably have realised that he’ll no longer be able to come back to Australia. To end up where he is right now is something I don’t wish anyone from our family, from our community, from our society… to end up where he is right now.”