Sydney: Recruiters for the Islamic State (IS) terror group have been masquerading as social workers at a community centre in Australia’s New South Wales state to entice youths to join the jihad organisation, a media report said on June 16.
Groups of men would pose as community workers and visit the Multicultural Youth Service (MYS) in Sydney’s Bankstown suburb to befriend and convert youths to the IS cause, former MYS employee Sarkis Achmar said.
The so-called “Ginger Jihadi”, Abdullah Elmir, was one of those who visited the centre, Australia’s SBS News reported.
Elmir was dubbed the Ginger Jihadi after appearing in a propaganda video alongside fellow IS members last year in October.
“MYS staff worked tirelessly and managed to guide at least seven young people away from the clutches of his friendship,” Achmar said.
“I believe we assisted in avoiding at least half a dozen other young people following Abdullah overseas.”
IS recruiters try to meet youths away from their families, tempting them with inducements like drugs and money.
The Australian government estimates there are more than 120 Australians fighting in Syria and Iraq. (Agencies)