Who is 'Jihadi Jake'?

This article is more than 12 months old

A westerner pictured alongside Islamic State group fighters and dubbed “Britain’s white jihadi” is in fact an Australian teenager who converted to Islam, reports said on Monday (March 9).

A photo of the meek-looking youth, holding a rifle and sitting in between two jihadists with a black IS flag in the background, emerged on Twitter in late December.

At the time, the militant group hailed his recruitment as “a major coup” with the British media dubbing him “Britain’s white jihadi”.

Now, Australia Fairfax Media said the photograph has been positively identified by friends of the teenager and members of a mosque in Melbourne. 

While they went a long way to describe the youth, they just called him Jake.

They did not reveal his full name at the request of a family member and that he now goes by the name Abdur Raheem or Abdullah. ​

So who is Jake?

High achieving 18-year-old student

  • He was described as a math whiz who attended the Craigieburn Secondary College in Melbourne but dropped out in the middle of last year after converting to Islam. He bought a one-way ticket to Istanbul en route to Iraq and Syria.

He had attend lectures at Hume Islamic Youth Centre in Coolaroo, Melbourne

  • He was described by Abu Zaid, a committee member of the youth centre, as a quiet guy who stuck to himself and that no one else had got close to him.

He had contacted his family 2 months after his disappearance. 

  • He told his family that he was in Iraq for a "martydom mission"
  • He later called them again to tell them that he was "too scared to do it and he prefers to be a soldier"
  • He was going to travel to Syria

Source: AFP, Twitter