Toowoomba 'teen jihadist' hiding in Syria fearing execution
TOOWOOMBA teenager Oliver Bridgeman is hiding in Syria, fearful that he will be captured and executed by ISIS militants or troops loyal to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, The Courier Mail reports.
Last week reports emerged that Oliver Bridgeman had communicated with his family over the internet to assure them that while he was in an area controlled by al-Nusra Front, he had not taken up arms and he denied fighting in the struggle.
It is understood Bridgeman is aware that he has become a target by travelling to an area controlled by the Al-Qaeda linked al-Nusra front.
"He is a foreigner who can't speak Arabic,'' a "highly-placed" and unnamed source told The Courier Mail.
"He is concerned about his safety, because he knows there are many people who would want him killed."
He claims to have travelled to the Middle East to perform humanitarian work, to help out in orphanages and perform manual labour.
The Australian Federal Police said in a statement, "The AFP is aware that a teenager from the Toowoomba area of Queensland left Australia recently and may be in a Middle East conflict area.
"The AFP is continuing to engage with his family, and are looking at ways that we might be able to communicate with him in an effort to convince him to return home.
"While these efforts are occurring no further comment will be made."
The Courier Mail quotes the unnamed source as saying Bridgeman knew his trip to Syria was illegal and that al-Nusra was listed by the Australian Government as a terrorist organisation.
"He is stuck between a rock and a hard place but in the end it was his decision to go there."