IS recruiter says he was ‘not 100% responsible’

September 29, 2017
| Report Focus News

Australia’s most wanted jihadist, Neil Prakash, has admitted partial responsibility for Islamic State group activity in the country.

Prakash, 27, was arrested in Turkey last year while attempting to cross the border from Syria under a false name.

Facing a trial in Turkey on Thursday on charges of joining IS, Prakash claimed he had been forced to make propaganda ads calling for attacks in Australia.

Australia has sought his extradition to face charges at home.

Prakash has been accused over terror plots in Australia and calls for lone-wolf attacks against the US.

When asked whether he was responsible for IS plots in Australia, he told the court: “I had something to do with [it], but I was not 100% responsible.”

“I am sorry for the trouble I have caused,” he said.

Prakash told the hearing in the town of Kilis that he had fled IS after seeing its “true face” and realising “what they taught me was wrong”.

Australian authorities have described Prakash as the most dangerous Middle East-based recruiter linked to terror networks in Melbourne and Sydney.

He has appeared in propaganda videos, including one where he praised “my brother Numan” – a likely reference to a teenager shot dead in Melbourne in 2014 after stabbing two police officers.

Prakash left Australia for Syria in 2013, taking the name Abu Khaled al-Cambodi, and was incorrectly reported to have been killed in a US air strike in Mosul, Iraq, in 2015.

In May, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he expected Prakash to be extradited within months.

His trial in Turkey will resume in November.