Friday, November 27th, 2020
  
 

Neil Prakash ‘wounded and arrested’

The radicalisation of Neil Prakash

Former Melbourne man Neil Prakash, who urged terrorist attacks in Australia, has reportedly been arrested after surviving an air attack intended to kill him. Picture: Islamic State propaganda

AUSTRALIA’s most senior officer within Islamic State reportedly survived an air raid intended to kill him but has since been arrested.

The New York Times today listed Neil Prakash as one of a series of high-value Islamic State recruiters and motivators deliberately targeted by the FBI by drone attacks.

He was part of a cell of English-speaking Islamic State propagandists the FBI dubbed ‘The Legion’, the newspaper reported.

The group was singled out by a combined US / British counter-terrorism operation aimed at blunting Islamic State’s startling influence through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Former Melbourne man Neil Prakash appeared in Islamic State propaganda videos.Source:News Corp Australia

The operation has reportedly resulted in the arrests of more than 100 social media followers of the Legion’s key members. All were deemed ‘inspired’ by their propaganda campaigns during the past two years.

But the members of the leadership group have been targeted by drone strikes.

Melbourne man Neil Prakash travelled to Syria in 2013 where he adopted the name Abu Khaled al-Cambodi. He is wanted by Australian Federal Police for his alleged involvement in inciting a plot to behead a Victorian police officer on Anzac Day, 2015.

He was reported to have been killed in an air raid against a bank being used by Islamic State to store cash last year. However, the New York Times quoted a senior US military official who now says he survived, but was wounded.

“In the last few weeks, however, a Middle Eastern government arrested Mr. Prakash, another senior American military official said,” the report reads.

US bombs bank in Mosul, Iraq, which killed Australian top terrorist recruiter Neil Prakash

The leader of the operation, British computer specialist Junaid Hussain, 21, was reportedly killed by a drone-launched Hellfire guided missile as he walked the streets of Raqqa — Islamic State’s self declared capital in Syria — in August last year. His punk-rock musician wife, Sally Jones, is believed to have survived.

Two other “Legion’ members, both also British nationals, have also been killed — Raphael Hostey and Reyaad Khan.

“We are still dealing with the repercussions of that development and that recruitment of that network to this day,” FBI official Mr. McCabe told the New York Times.