REPORT: An Australian teen fighting for ISIS may have been beheaded after trying to escape

ISIS militants (Photo: AP/Supplied)

Friends of Australian Ifraan Hussein said the Melbourne teen, who died fighting with ISIS in the Middle East, was either killed in a bomb blast – or beheaded after trying to return home.

Hussein’s family confirmed the 19-year-old died in March, however, it’s still not clear how he died.

News Corp reports Hussein’s friends said he was beheaded by ISIS after attempting to escape the fighting, while there are also suggestions he was killed by a bomb blast in an operation.

Hussein was friends with Numan Haider, the 18-year-old teen who was shot and killed after stabbing two officers outside a police station in Melbourne’s south-east last September.

Both teens went to Lyndale Secondary College in Dandenong North.

Hussein’s affiliation with extremism was reportedly sparked after visiting the Al-Furqan Islamic Centre with Haider in 2013, according to friends.

Police allege Hussein had links to Harun Causevic — one of two teens charged over an alleged plot to murder police on Anzac Day — and was aiding Australians attempting to travel to Iraq and Syria to fight with ISIS.

Police said they had found Hussein’s international phone number in Causevic’s bedroom.

The Herald Sun reports Hussein joined ISIS in Syria last September or October after being smuggled across the Turkish border.

The Australian reports authorities believe ISIS is using more concentrated and focused methods to recruit young people and encourage them to carry out attacks on home soil.

High-ranking Australian terrorist, Neil Prakash, is reportedly at the centre of the new recruitment strategy by ISIS, individually targeting and “grooming” young Australian Muslims, aged 15-19.

Attorney-General George Brandis said this method, akin to that of a paedophile luring young children, was a departure from the previously open social media approach.

“This involves ISIL identifying vulnerable targets online, usually teenagers, and then moving their conversations with these children on encrypted sites to privately groom and radicalise them,” Brandis said.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.