The 18-year-old Australian student who fled to the Middle East to join the Islamic State (ISIS) was a bit of an ‘outcast,’ who allegedly was bullied at school. Now identified as ‘Jihadi Jake’ from Melbourne, he had been a Craigieburn Secondary College student who converted to Islam in his sophomore year.
UK Daily Mail Ulus Shefket, who was in the same year as Jake at school, said he was an outsider. ‘He was quiet and barely had any friends. Whenever you tried to joke with him he would react aggressively,’ Mr Shefket told Daily Mail Australia. ‘He left Craigieburn Secondary College for another school because I think he felt like an outcast there.
Mr Shefket said Jake converted to Islam in 2012. ‘He came to school one day late in year 10 and just told us that he converted to Islam, but when we asked him why he would give us very vague answers,’ he said. ‘”That’s none of your business” and “I think I made the right choice.”‘
Fairfax Media reports Jake, who now goes by the Islamic names Abdur Raheem or Abu Abdullah, was a maths genius from Melbourne who fled to the Middle East to join Islamic State.
When Jake converted to Islam, he attended a number of mosques where he prayed with worshippers before disappearing. Worshippers at the Meadow Heights Mosque claimed they recall Jake’s family were not impressed over his new religious beliefs at the time, according to Fairfax Media.
A school friend, who wished to remain anonymous, told Fairfax Media Jake ‘was obviously a believer in Islam and wanted to fulfill what he believed were his duties to the religion – JIHAD!’