An Australian citizen believed to be a senior recruiter for the Islamic State has been killed by the US air strike in Iraq.
Australian Attorney-General George Brandis said the United States has confirmed that Neil Prakash, also known as Abu Khaled al-Cambodi, was killed in Mosul on 29 April.
Neil Prakash was linked to several Australia-based attack plans and was featured in several Islamic State recruitment videos as well as magazines. He had had urged lone wolf attacks against the United States.
"Neil Prakash's death is a very, very positive development in the war against Daesh and the war against terror," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told Sky News, referring to Islamic State.
Last year, Australia had announced financial sanctions against Prakash proscribing anyone from giving financial assistance to him. They government said such an action would attract up to 10 years in jail as punishment.
"His death disrupts and degrades ISIL's ability to recruit vulnerable people in our community to conduct terrorist acts," an official said, according to The Australian.
The 24-year-old's death is particularly significant because, while he filled in the shoes of a previous successful recruiter, Mohammad Ali Baryalei, he has no obvious successor.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Greg Barton, a terrorism expert at Deakin University, has that Prakash was the last known high-profile link between the Syria-Iraq battlefield and the extremist networks in Melbourne and Sydney. "It doesn't mean the end of these exchanges, but it certainly marks the closing of the first chapter," Barton added.
Prakash, who is of Cambodian and Fijian heritage, converted from Buddhism in 2012 and travelled to Syria a year later. He was extremely active on social media pushing his messages, but recently had gone quiet, apparently out of fear because he thought that his location would be picked up from those signals.
According to the BBC, last month an Australian woman, Shadi Jabar Khalil Mohammad was also killed in a separate US airstrike in Syria. Reports have shown that Shadi Jabar was the cousin of Farhad Jabar, the man who shot a police worker named Curtis Cheng at a police headquarters in the Sydney suburb of Parramatta in last October.
Both Shadi Jabar and her husband were considered as active recruiters for the so-called Islamic State group by the authorities.
Jabar left Australia the day before her cousin committed the crime of shooting a police officer.
The Australians government estimates that about 110 are fighting with these militant groups. Prakash was considered to be the most dangerous among them. He was also believed to be in contact with the recently charged 16-year-old boy who was allegedly caught while preparing an act of terrorism for another Anzac Day attack.