A bouncer and “part-time” actor has played an influential role in recruiting fellow Australians for the Islamic State and placing them on the battlefields in Syria and Iraq, according to an ABC Australia report.
Mohammad Ali Baryalei, a 33-year old from Sydney, has recruited some 30+ Australians to join the Islamic State terror outfit that is rampaging through the Middle East. Baryalei is an Afghan who received refuge in Australia, and has worked for the Kings Cross nightclub. He has recruited teenagers as young as 17, including at least seven who have died on the battlefield, according to the report. Among the newly enshrined recruits was dual Aussie-US citizen Tyler Casey and his wife Amira Karroum, who both died waging jihad in Aleppo, Syria last January. Casey had grown up in a Christian family but as a teen converted to Islam, and changed his name to Yusuf Ali.
Baryalei was said to be in the upper hierarchy of the Street Dawah movement, where a group of Muslim preachers would try to convert Australians to Islam.
Australian authorities told ABC that he traveled to Syria in April of 2013 to fight with the Islamic State against president Bashar al-Assad Syrian Armed Forces.
A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Baryalei. “Should Baryalei return to Australia, this warrant authorizes law enforcement to arrest him immediately,” said a spokeswoman for the Australian Federal Police on Tuesday.
Last week, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that Canberra would arm and equip Iraqi forces that are currently battling the Islamic State. The PM said: “The United States government has requested that Australia help to transport stores of military equipment, including arms and munitions, as part of a multinational effort.” Australia had also been heavily involved in the humanitarian aid campaign to help Yazidis under siege on Mt. Sinjar.