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Jake Bilardi’s dad tells of warning signs when teenage suicide bomber was a young boy
AUSTRALIAN suicide bomber Jake Bilardi craved attention and had a death wish, his father says.
In a heartwrenching interview - his first since his son’s death as an Islamic State jihadist - John Bilardi told Nine Network’s 60 Minutes Jake had been a troubled boy, threatening to harm himself and members of his family from a tender age.
As a six-year-old, Jake had brandished weapons at his mother, including one incident in which he had cornered her with a pair of scissors.
“My wife at that time was calling out to me, screaming,” John Bilardi said in an interview aired last night. He recalled running into the room and seeing his son “thrusting the scissors at his ex-wife.
“The strength that he had as a young kid of six years old was incredible.”
Mr Bilardi said he shouldered much of the blame for his son’s actions since it was reported last week that the teenager had died during a series of deadly co-ordinated Islamic State suicide bombings in the Iraqi city of Ramadi.
At least 17 people were killed, and dozens injured in the attack, which Mr Bilardi says was orchestrated by the militants. “He was a prize, a trophy - they used him for their own cause,” he told the program.
“He had a death wish.” Describing him as a shy and lonely boy, Mr Bilardi said he ignored his son’s obvious mental and psychological issues when he was a child.