Reports of a mysterious sniper taking out Islamic State leaders gained national attention over the weekend. As of Monday, another prominent Islamic State recruiter has reportedly been killed.
Neil Prakash, who came to be known as Abu Khaled al-Cambodi, was an Australian-born terrorist linked to courting young people to come and fight for the terrorist group in Syria, Mirror reported.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) February 1, 2016
It was not long after Prakash arrived in Syria in 2013 that he became a crucial player in advancing the conglomerate now known as the Islamic State. Prakash appears prominently in one of the group’s propaganda videos, urging fellow Australian "brothers" to rise up against their government.
The Islamic State listed him in recruitment handbooks as a contact person for young radicals hoping to join the terror cult.
Julie Bishop, foreign affairs minister to the U.K., told parliament that he had "sought to commission violent terrorist acts, including in Australia, and to recruit others, including young Australian women and girls, to travel to Syria and Iraq to join the Daesh terrorists.”
Though IS has confirmed Prakash’s death, as of Monday morning, the Australian government has yet to confirm his passing.
According to Mirror, the office of the attorney general George Brandis said the government "cannot confirm reports of the death of Neil Prakash at this time because of the serious security situation in Syria and Iraq.”
Last June the Australian government targeted Prakash with financial sanctions, threatening 10 years of jail time to anyone caught providing the terror leader with “material support.”
Details of how Prakash died remain unclear, though many believe his death to be linked to a series of killings by a sniper known as the “Daesh Hunter.”
Recent assassinations of several Islamic State leaders occurred in the coastal city of Sirte, the home town of Muammar Gaddaffi, which became a stronghold for the terrorists last year.
Now IS troops are searching Sirte for the assailant.
According to Libya Prospect, the first commander to be killed by the mysterious sniper was Hamad Abdel Hady, a Sudanese national nicknamed Abu Anas Al-Muhajer. Al-Muhajer is thought to have been an official Sirte’s shariah court.
The next leader to be slain was Abu Mohammed Dernawi, killed on January 19 near his home in Sirte.
And on January 23 Abdullah Hamad al Ansari, an IS commander from southern Libya, was gunned down while leaving a mosque.
According to Mirror, one source said there is now a "state of terror" among the Islamic State higher-ups. The same source reported that militant leaders ”randomly shot in the air to scare inhabitants" while looking for the sniper.
The recent killing of Prakash is thought to be the work of the same gunman, who is thought to have become something of a hero to those living in the city under ISIS rule.
Front page photo courtesy of Shuttershock.