The Prime Minister’s office has referred footage of a young Australian man claiming to be fighting with a Syrian militant group to Australian intelligence agencies. In the footage, the man justifies the brutal tactics of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and indicates he is prepared to fight Australian soldiers.
SMH The unverified footage, aired by Channel Seven, shows a man named Abu Ousama, a self-described “true-blue Aussie” allegedly fighting with Syrian rebel group Jund al-Aqsa, declaring his support for terrorist group Islamic State. ISIS have taken this role in protecting the innocent Muslims of this country, of this land,” he said.
The footage was filmed by a British photojournalist embedded with Jund al-Aqsa, and aired on 7 News on Friday night. The program also interviewed the journalist. Mr Ousama, who was described by news reporter Mike Duffy as a “combat medic” with Jund al-Aqsa, justified the practice of beheading used by Islamic State militants.
He claimed there was “no hatred between me and Australia”, but indicated, if forced to, he was prepared to fight Australians. “If they’re going to come in and they’re come in with their aeroplanes and shoot missiles and kill innocents, etc, etc, then how can anybody you know … you’re forced to [fight Australians],” he said. “I’m sad to see Australia taking that step to come into a place it doesn’t need to be because it will cause a reaction, it will cause people to hate it.”
While the footage does not indicate how long Mr Ousama has been in Syria, the Australian conceded he missed home. “Everybody’s going to love their country … Mate, I’ve paid nearly 500 Syrian [pounds … $3.50] just to have some Coco Pops. Just cos I miss home and feel like some Coco Pops.”