Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Australia | model | Syria | killed | isis | soldier

Australian Male Model Killed in Syria Fighting for ISIS

By    |   Thursday, 16 April 2015 03:40 PM

A former male model and disc jockey from Melbourne has become the latest Australian killed while fighting alongside the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, the London Telegraph reported Thursday.

Sharky Jama, 25, a member of Melbourne's Somali community, had been living in the ISIS stronghold of Fallujah, Iraq, but recently traveled to Syria to fight for the terrorist group there.

Family members in Australia said they received a telephone call and text message on Monday informing them that Jama had been killed.

Hussein Haraco, identified as a Melbourne Somali community leader, said he had known the Jama family for a decade and said he found Sharky to be a good person. Haraco said the young man's death on the battlefield was "really shocking," adding that the local Somali community is "really confused."

Other Melbourne Somalis expressed shock at the news, saying Jama was outgoing and flamboyant.

"I would have seen him as a sign of hope for the community," local activist Berhan Ahmed told CNN. "He was integrated; he got himself into the mainstream."

Ahmed said he had never heard Jama make statements supporting ISIS, while adding: "But I wouldn't be surprised. You hear these sorts of arguments every now and then."

Ahmed explained his comment by stating that people "start to think – where do I belong? Who am I?"

Last month, another Melbourne resident, 18-year-old Jake Bilardi, blew himself up in an ISIS suicide attack in Ramadi, Iraq. Bilardi died in a coordinated series of suicide bombings which killed at least 17 people.

Approximately 90 Australians have traveled to the Middle East in recent years to join ISIS, including an estimated 20 who have died while waging jihad. An estimated 3,400 people from Western nations have traveled to the Middle East to join ISIS, U.S. National Counterterrorism Center Director Nicholas Rasmussen told the House Homeland Security Committee in February.

Reports of Sharky Jama's death prompted social-media tributes, with some praising him as a "Shaheed" (martyr) and expressing hope that he would find a place in paradise.

"Rest in peace my handsome lil cousin!" wrote one woman in Melbourne. "All them beautiful memories and time we shared I shall keep dear to my heart. May Allah bless your soul."

Australians have grown increasingly wary of homegrown jihad in the wake of several recent events. In mid-December, a militant ISIS supporter held 17 people hostage during a 16-hour siege at a Sydney café. Two hostages were killed during the siege, which ended when police stormed the café and killed the terrorist.

In September, Australian authorities announced they had smashed a domestic ISIS terror cell that planned to carry out beheadings of random individuals.

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A former male model and disc jockey from Melbourne has become the latest Australian killed while fighting alongside the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, the London Telegraph reported Thursday.
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Thursday, 16 April 2015 03:40 PM
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