Neil Prakash’s life before he became an IS fighter
May 6, 2016
From vulgar rapper to a slain member of ‘the most evil organisation on Earth’.
Prakash, a top ISIL recruiter, was believed to be fighting in Syria. Photo: ABC
Slain Australian terrorist Neil Prakash was a failed rapper who wrote about sex and drugs before defecting to the world’s most notorious terror group, where he preyed on vulnerable young people and threatened innocent families.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull celebrated his death this week after being informed by United States intelligence that Prakash, one of Islamic State’s most senior recruiters, had been killed during a drone attack in Mosul, northern Iraq.
“Neil Prakash’s death is a very, very positive development in the war against Daesh and the war against terror,” he said.
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ASIO said 50 Australians fighting for IS had been killed. Photo: AAP
The news of Prakash’s death came as ASIO announced that 50 Australians had been confirmed killed fighting for the Islamic State.
Many of those who have died have done so anonymously, the government having repeatedly refused to release the names of the dead.
Only 24 when he died, Prakash was a high school dropout who had been a Buddhist, an apprentice mechanic and a rapper before converting to Islam in 2012.
He spent many of his formative years living in the garage of a friend. He ran with an Asian gang called the Springy Boys in Melbourne’s south-east.
Prakash’s unsuccessful early career as a rapper known as Kree Dafa did not land him in a world of fast cars and cash.
Some of the songs were extremely crude and far from the musings of a devout man.
His life as a wild eyed suburban rapper bore little resemblance to the man Prakash was to become: a fighter for one of the world’s most barbaric organisations who became known as Abu Khaled Al-Cambodi.
Through online networks he was associated with the terror plots against Anzac Day both this year and last, as well as plans to target a Mother’s Day fun run.
Later, Prakash wrought havoc on travel in the Middle East, forcing three major airlines, Etihad, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, to ground planes after a bomb hoax.
Prakash attempted to recruit vulnerable young people to carry out violent acts for Islamic State. Photo: ABC
‘The world is a safer place’
National Security editor at The Australian, Paul Maley, the first journalist to mention Neil Prakash by name, was threatened with beheading.
Mr Maley told The New Daily he was well looked after by ASIO, the police and his employers, but there was an inevitable sense of relief.
“I would never revel in the death of any man even one like Prakash, but the community is much safer without him,” he said
“He threw his lot in with the most evil terrorist group on Earth. I feel sympathy for his mother and the people who loved him. But I don’t have sympathy for him. The fact is that just as the community is safer, so am I.”
Professor Greg Barton of Deakin University told The New Daily there were many paradoxes with the Australian authorities’ celebration of Prakash’s death and their provision of assistance in tracking down Australian citizens.
“This is a whole new area,” he said. “It raises a lot of questions. There is a war going on.
“It is a conventional war on the ground in Iraq and Syria, but it is also about the hearts and minds of young people in Australian suburbs.
“It is dealing with very sad and tragic issues. It is good news that Prakash is no longer online trying to influence young people but his own story is a very tragic one. His story is full of pathos.
“He was a lost kid who ended up in a bad place and sadly influenced others, and took them to a bad place.”
Prakash was linked to Melbourne teenager Numan Haider, who was shot in 2015 during a confrontation with police.