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How did a whizz-kid Melbourne school boy come to this?

This time last year this Melbourne boy was just another high-school kid, so how, one year later is he fighting for Islamic State?

He was a gifted maths student from Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

But now, at just 18-years of age he is a fully fledged member of Islamic State photographed brandishing rifles, and quoted as considering “martyrdom missions” with a suicide vest.

But how does it come to this? How does a young Australian boy named Jake end up being flashed around the world media as the “White Jihadi”? It is a question many are scrambling to answer as Fairfax Media expose the young 18-year old’s true identity.

Jake photographed holding a rifle alone with IS fighters.

He first came to light last year when several media outlets wrongly identified him as a British teenager and called him “Britain’s White Jihadi”.

But friends from high school recognised him – and he has now been identified as a young man named Jake – his surname has been withheld – who attended Craigieburn Secondary College’s CEAP Excel accelerated learning program- and was a maths genius.

Fairfax Media reports that he dropped out of high school mid-last year after converting to Islam and bought a one-way ticket to Istanbul.

He then travelled to Iraq and Syria. Jake converted to Islam when he was 16 – his family were unhappy about his decision – but is was one that he committed to attending  two north suburban Melbourne mosques

A former friend told Fairfax Media Jake had “made his own choice and he believes it’s the right choice.

“He was not pushed into IS [Islamic State] and was not pushed into Islam. People can make their own decisions and this was one of his …he felt that it was right for him … He had done sufficient research to believe it was the right step in life,” the friend said.

“He was obviously a believer in Islam and wanted to fulfill what he believed was his duties to the religion.”

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Jake’s high school photo

According to the report Jake began communicating with who he said he believed was a BBC journalist – he told friends he had then been given a job as a journalist in Istanbul.

it turned out that the ‘journalist’ was a recruiter for Islamic State.

It’s a tale we have heard before – the lure of what many term the “death cult” enticing young men to give their lives.

Jake’s family have said that he is expressed interest in a “martyrdom mission” with a suicide vest in Iraq. However he then changed his mind saying he was too scared to do it and he preferred being a soldier”. He travelled to Syria.

News of Jake comes as two young teenagers are arrested at Sydney airport on Friday night. The two aged 16 and 17 were planning on flying to Turkey and joining Islamic State.

The Prime Minister said yesterday “It seems they had succumbed to the lure of the death cult and they were on the verge of doing something terrible and dangerous.

“I’m pleased they have been stopped. My message to anyone who is listening to the death cult is: block your ears.”

The two young men aged 16 and 17 were released into their parents’ custody.

News Limited reports that they were are a no-fly list.

In a chilling insight into the mind of Jake, and perhaps these two young men as well, Fairfax Media quoted a post Jake made on social media.

Questions being raised how did it come to this?

On the video-sharing site Livestream he followed the national Muslim organisation Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’a Association of Australia (ASWJ).

Jake quotes Islamic philosopher Ibn Taymiyyah “What can my enemies do to me? My paradise is in my heart, it is with me wherever I go. To imprison me is to provide me with seclusion. To send me into exile is to send me away in the Path of Allah. And to kill me is to make me a martyr”.

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