Australia’s most senior Islamic State (ISIS) leader Mohammad Ali Baryalei has reportedly been killed fighting in the Middle East.
Reports circulating on social media reveal he allegedly died four or five days ago.
A spokesperson for the Attorney-General’s office said government policy did not involve confirming the deaths of Islamic State fighters.
The 33 year-old former Kings Cross bouncer has been accused of recruiting dozens of young Australians onto the battlefield in Syria and Iraq.
In September, Australian Federal Police (AFP) confirmed they had issued a warrant several months ago for Ali Baryalei’s arrest.
Ali Baryalei was the ISIS figure Prime Minister Tony Abbott was referring to last month when he said “quite direct exhortations were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL”, which led to anti-terrorism raids in Sydney and Brisbane.
Afghan-born Omarjan Azari, 22, was charged with conspiring to commit a terrorist act during the Sydney raids after police intercepted a phone call allegedly between Baryalei and Azari in which they were conspiring to behead a member of the Australian public.
More to come.
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