Australian model Sharky Jama, 25, died while fighting in Syria. He left a successful modeling and DJ career to join the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).
His parents received a text message about his death.
“They’re very shocked and very disappointed,” explained Hussein Harakow, the president of the Somali Australian Council of Victoria.
Jama and his friend Yusuf Yusuf disappeared in August. They fled to Fallujah, Iraq, which is only an hour from Baghdad. Yusuf then went to Raqqa, Syria, the terrorist’s group self-declared capital of their caliphate.
His parents contacted him a few times while in Fallujah. They thought he was still in the city, but the text message revealed he died in Syria. Harakow also claims the family never knew he joined ISIS.
“He never explained what’s happening over there or what he’s doing,” Harakow said. “The family lived a simple life. They never discussed these sorts of things.”
They had no idea he joined ISIS, even though he littered his social media accounts with ISIS propaganda.
“Mr Jama’s former social media accounts — including one with the username “thelastkhliafat,” a misspelled reference to an Islamic caliphate — have been deleted, but he maintains a Facebook page under a different name in which he offers his perspectives on Islamic State and life under its banners,” reported The Australian. “The materialism displayed in his sample photographs contrasts deeply with his new life and religious views. From his posts and comments, it appears Mr Jama first traveled through Europe after leaving Australia, telling one friend he ‘had to shave’ his beard ‘before crossing borders.’”
Jama’s decision to join ISIS stunned many who knew him.
“We were quite shocked to find out he had joined ISIS, and we immediately cut ties with him,” said Stephen Bucknall, the director of FRM Model Management. “He was a very likeable guy, very courteous, always came around with a smile. He had a great modeling career ahead of him. He always showed up at the agency ready to work on the runway, print and TV.”