“My son died four years ago,” said his mother, referring to the time of his “radicalization.” But here is another instance in which we’re only finding out about it after the fact. Why didn’t she warn authorities about him at that time? Maybe she did, of course, and they were indifferent, or felt themselves powerless to do anything to stop him from traveling across the world to join a jihad.
“Death ends migrant’s three-day journey into jihad,” from The Australian, with thanks to Hamuzi:
A MELBOURNE father’s mission to join Islamic jihad in Somalia ended with his death three days after arriving in the African region in December to fight Ethiopian-backed forces.
Ahmed Ali, 25, embraced fundamentalist Islam four years ago before travelling to Somalia with his wife and at least one child.
Ali migrated to Australia with his parents in the late 1990s. His conversion to radicalism upset his mother who, when informed of his death, told members of the Islamic community: “My son died four years ago.”
While Ali was the first Somalian from Australia known to have returned to join the holy war, community leaders feared more would follow in his footsteps.
Prominent Melbourne-based Somalian cleric Isse Musse told The Australian last night that he was concerned about other members of his community turning to radical Islam and travelling overseas to join the jihad.
“We are worried about that because we don’t want anyone to lose life for nothing,” he said.
News of Ali’s death came after The Weekend Australian reported that an Adelaide man, Warya Kanie, had been arrested in Baghdad on suspicion of joining the insurgency.
Mr Kanie is now being held in Camp Cropper, the US-run Baghdad prison where former dictator Saddam Hussein was kept before his execution 10 days ago.
Sheik Isse, head of the Virgin Mary Mosque in Melbourne’s west, said Ali would occasionally attend his mosque for prayers.
He said Ali’s mother was “distraught” and was still unable to come to terms with her son’s death, which occurred three days after his arrival in Somalia.
“She can’t believe that in three days he goes to the front (of the battle) and gets killed,” said Sheik Isse. “He’s a young man – young people are always interested in new things.”
The Australian understands that Ali’s wife, an Australian convert to Islam, was pregnant when the couple left for Somalia with their daughter.
Sheik Musse warned other members of his community not to travel overseas to join the jihad. “There are thousands and thousands (there already) – a boy who’s from here, what can he do over there? Nothing,” he said.
A spokesman for federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said Australian citizens who engaged in hostile activity in a foreign country faced up to 20 years in jail under the Crimes (Foreign Incursion and Recruitment) Act 1978.
Activities covered under the law include attacking heads of state or officials, or acts designed to frighten citizens or assault the nation’s officials.
Ali’s sister, who would not be named, denied the reports of his death were true. “It’s all misinformation,” she said. “As far as we’re concerned, he’s missing and we haven’t been able to get in touch with him.”
Last night, a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokeswoman told The Australian that Mr Ali’s relatives had told the department his wife and children were still in Somalia.