An Australian male model turned jihadist has reportedly been killed while fighting for Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL).
Sharky Jama abandoned his blossoming modelling and DJ careers and left his home in Melbourne in August of last year.
He told his parents he had been living in the Iraqi city of Falluja, currently held by IS militants, though he is said to have been killed in Syria after travelling there to fight with the jihadists.
The 25-year-old’s parents, who are of Somalian descent, were informed of their son’s death via a text message and phone call from Syria on Monday, Hussein Harakow, the president of the Somali Australian Council of Victoria said.
He told CNN he had known Jama’s family for ten years but that none of them had no idea why he had left.
“It’s really shocking for the whole community and we are really confused.”
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Jama’s father Dada Jama told SBS Somali radio broadcaster Ibrahim Mohamed he had immediately tried to phone his son after receiving the grave news.
“Automatically, it goes to voicemail, that’s what he said and then he knew that his son is gone,” said Mohamed in comments reported by The Age.
Stephan Bucknall, director of Melbourne’s FRM Model Management, told CNN his agency had represented Jama for two-and-a-half-years but had severed the relationship with him when media reports claimed he had joined IS.
“We were quite shocked to find out he had joined IS and we immediately cut ties with him. He was a very likeable guy, very courteous, always came round with a smile.
“He had a great modelling career ahead of him.”
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott addressed the reports of Jama’s death at a press conference, stating he: “Had a very simple message to anyone who might be thinking of going overseas to join these terrorist groups.
“Don’t. They are death cults. That’s what they are. They’re not about religion. They’re just about death.
“And it’s just as likely to be your death as anyone else’s death.”