An Australian citizen suspected of being a top recruiter for the Islamic State terrorist group has been killed in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq.
Australian Attorney-General George Brandis told reporters Thursday that Melbourne native Neil Prakash died in an airstrike in Mosul on April 29.
Brandis says Prakash was actively involved in recruiting terrorists, appearing in IS propaganda videos, and was linked to a number of terrorist plots in Australia. Brandis says Prakash also encouraged so-called "lone-wolf" attacks against the United States.
"Although we should be gladdened by this news because Prakash was the most dangerous Australian we knew of, we shouldn't be complacent either that this is by no means the end of struggle against ISIL (Islamic State Group), it's by no means the case that Prakash was the only dangerous Australian in the Middle East who was trying to reach back to Australia," said Brandis.
"This is a good outcome for the safety and security of our country. He's an evil person. He was involved in the deaths of people. He was wanting to inspire hatred in our country. He wanted young people to be following in the footsteps of martyrs elsewhere, committing terrorist acts here, and our country's a safer place for him having left it," said Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.
Attorney-general Brandis also said he was informed by the United States that another Australian, Shadi Jabar Khalil Mohammad, was killed in an air strike in Syria last month along with her Sudanese husband, who were both recruiters for Islamic State.
Mohammad was the sister of Farhad Jabar, a 15-year-old who shot and killed a civilian police employee in Sydney last October. Jabar was killed in a gunfight with police shortly afterward.
Canberra has launched a wide-ranging anti-terrorism campaign since late 2014. Authorities have conducted a series of counter-terrorism raids across the country, arresting at least several people on suspicion of planning domestic terrorist attacks and involvement with Islamic militants fighting in Iraq and Syria.
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