ISIS claims that the Melbourne teenager blew himself up in coordinated attacks in Iraq.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria claimed on social media that an Australian teenager who joined its ranks blew himself up in an attack in Anbar province, west of Baghdad.
The extremist group circulated on Twitter on Wednesday an image that claims to show 18-year-old James Bilardi of Melbourne preparing for an attack and appears to show him driving a battered SUV, Australia’s ABC reports. The images and claims—which use Bilardi’s pseudonym Abu Abdullah al-Australi—have not been independently confirmed.
“There are unconfirmed reports to this effect. This is a horrific situation, an absolutely horrific situation,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott said, according to ABC. “It shows the lure of this death cult to impressionable youngsters.”
An estimated 90 Australian citizens have joined ISIS, according to Australian security forces, and twenty have died.
On Wednesday, at least a dozen car bombs exploded in a coordinated attack in Anbar province targeting Iraqi forces.