SYDNEY - An Australian 18-year-old who reportedly blew himself up in Iraq this week has described his march to "martyrdom", blogging about the path he took from talented schoolboy to fanatical jihadi.
The blog widely attributed to Jake Bilardi also reveals a "Plan B" to wage bombings on home soil in case he was prevented by Australian authorities from leaving to fight overseas.
Officials have not confirmed Bilardi's death but a photo purportedly from a propaganda video by the Islamic State group appears to show him sitting in the driver's seat of a car used in a suicide bombing this week in Ramadi.
Members of two mosques in Melbourne and friends of the teenager have confirmed his identity based on photographs circulating of him online, saying he converted to Islam after his mother died of cancer.
The 4,400-word online manifesto is authored by "Abdul Abdullah Al-Australi", the name widely reported as the jihadist nom de guerre taken by Bilardi after he left Australia last year.
"With my martyrdom operation drawing closer; I want to tell you my story, how I came from being an atheist school student in affluent Melbourne to a soldier of the Khilafah (Caliphate) preparing to sacrifice my life for Islam in Ramadi, Iraq," the blog reads.
"My life in Melbourne's working-class suburbs was, despite having its ups and downs just like everyone else, very comfortable," it says.
The blogger writes of sitting on the couch eating breakfast as a school child and watching a television story on the Afghanistan's Taliban.
"It was Channel 7's programme 'Sunrise' that I turned on most mornings, watching discussions such as, 'Another attack in America, should we be suspicious about the Muslims in Australia?' it says.
"I saw the Taliban as simply a group of proud men seeking to protect their land and their people from an invading force, while I did not necessarily agree with their ideology, their actions were in my opinion completely justified."