An Australian citizen has blown himself up fighting for a cause that has nothing to do with Australia. In a video published by an al Qaeda-linked group, he is farewelled by his fellow rebels and lauded a hero, about to die for the cause in an attack on Deir al-Zour military airport in Syria. The man responsible for killing 35 Syrian soldiers identified himself as Australia's first suicide bomber.
Although his face is blurred in the video, officials believe he's an Australian citizen from Brisbane. Intelligence agencies are trying to figure out how a family man living in a peaceful Brisbane suburb ends up as a suicide bomber in the Syrian civil war.
In the video, he says goodbye to his fellow jihadists and asks for more foreigners to join the fight.
"This is a message to all my brothers in the world. Today jihad is a duty of every Muslim, to carry a weapon and come to the land of jihad....today jihad is a duty imposed on every Muslim, so rise up Muslims. This is a duty imposed on us and the best of people are those who fight for the sake of God. So if you are afraid, why are you afraid? For your wives and children? Trust in God. In the west or in any country, you think you are men, or that you are living a good life? Today, real men are living in the land of jihad, they are our brothers, they are the Muslims who defend the religion of God."
When a shocking video was released earlier this year, showing a Syrian rebel commander, Abu Sakkar, cutting out the heart and lungs of his enemy and eating it in front of his cheering men, the world suddenly had second thoughts about arming the rebels.
When Free Syrian Army's chief of staff Gen Salim Idris was asked why Sakkar wasn't arrested he said "We condemn what he did but why do our friends in the west focus on this when thousands are dying? We are a revolution, not a structured army. If we were, we would have expelled Abu Sakkar, but he commands his own battalion which he raised with his own money. Is the west asking me now to fight Abu Sakkar and force him out of the revolution? I beg for some understanding here."
Authorities believe there are over 200 Australians participating in the Syrian conflict and an estimated 6000 foreigners are fighting with the rebels. But out of all western countries, Australians are the most enthusiastic supporters and the Australian flag now flies with the rest.