How ‘lion’ Ahmad Moussalli died in Syrian war a mystery
Yusuf Ali, left,and Ahmad Moussalli, right. Ahmas Moussalli, who died in mysterious circumstances in Syria. Photo: Facebook
A young Australian student killed in Syria was on the radar of authorities but the circumstances of his death may never be known.
Ahmad Moussalli was hailed a hero by parts of the Muslim community following news of his death on the Syrian battlefront this month.
The Lebanese-Australian graduate of South Strathfield High School had been studying Arabic in Egypt since late 2012 and sharing a room with a group of Australians but he slipped into Syria some time last year, police sources confirmed.
Authorities were aware he was possibly fighting in the war-torn country.
Fairfax can reveal he was a close friend of Yusuf Ali, who travelled to Syria in 2013 to fight with terrorist group Jubhat al-Nusra and was living in Aleppo with his wife, Amira Karroum, when they were killed by rebel crossfire in December.
Mr Ali and Mr Moussalli proselytised on the streets of Sydney together and were key figures in the ”Street Dawah” movement.
Mr Ali was described by friends as ”lion at Dawah” and Mr Moussalli claimed on Facebook to have converted 30 people to Islam through the initiative, including one after just 20 minutes.
The pair often preached on Parramatta footpaths together.
Friends described them both as quiet, passive and devoted Muslims. One friend, Taha Yehakhi, said Mr Moussalli was an unlikely candidate to head to a warzone.
”He was the last on my mind to think he’ll go to jihad,” he posted online. ”Sometimes it’s not the brothers in the mosque who look like they will crush a mountain.”
Mr Moussalli regularly posted his bank details online, asking people to donate directly to fund his studies in Egypt.
Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Peter Drennan said the Terrorism Financing Investigations Unit, which crosses State and Commonwealth agencies, was monitoring payments made into the accounts of Australians in Syria.
Funding, recruiting for, or participating in the Syrian civil war is illegal under Australia’s foreign incursion laws.
”The real difficulty is being able to prove what the money is used for,” Mr Drennan said. ”… People may be giving money to someone who says they are providing humanitarian aid but it could end up buying boxes of bullets for machine guns.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said they could not confirm Mr Moussalli’s death in Syria because Australia does not have an embassy there.
”When requested to by families, the Department has sought confirmation of reported deaths from Syrian authorities. But, at this time, the Department has been unable to confirm any of the reported deaths,” a spokesman said.
Mr Drennan said Australians killed in Syria could be buried on the battlefield.
”We may never know the circumstances of some of these deaths,” he said.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.