The Melbourne-born man was raised by a Catholic family and was a star on the footy field.
He has previously been described as friendly and studious and has a beard that would not look out of place on one of the city’s many hipsters.
But Cerantonio is not what he may seem at first glance — he’s a party boy turned Islamic State poster boy and is believed to be one of the most important figures in guiding people toward the terror organisation.
Cerantonio, 30, has been notorious for posting videos of his radical views to social media that were sympathetic to Islamic State.
He would also preach the message of Islam and the importance of Sharia law.
But Cerantonio was silenced in 2014, after he was arrested in the Philippines and deported back to Australia.
He was arrested after boasting on social media about travelling to the Middle East to join jihadists.
He posted to his social media followers that he had arrived in the Middle East but it was a lie and he never actually left the Philippines.
It is illegal for Australians to attempt to join Islamic State or provide any kind of support to any armed group in Syria.
At the time of his arrest, Philippine police said Cerantonio was a “jihadist preacher”who was using social media to call for jihad and urge Filipino Muslims to back Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
Since being deported back to Australia 18 months ago, Cerantonio has been in hiding — until now.
The “IS cheerleader” has gone public with a controversial Facebook rant, targeting gay men.
In a video uploaded to the ‘Islam in Focus Australia’ Facebook page, he encourages homosexuals to turn to Islam.
“I have seen myself how many people identified as homosexuals but then they were guided to the light of Islam, they were guided to the obedience of Allah,” he said.
“Many of them left their inclinations and they married and had children.
“Some were not able to leave these feelings but were able to control themselves for the sake of Allah.”
His followers commented on the video celebrating Cerantonio’s return.
“So nice to see you back. May Allah preserve you and protect you,” one wrote.
Another said “it’s been too long”.
An old photo of the radical preacher outside the Vatican with a black and white jihadi flag that says “there is no God but Allah and Mohammad is the messenger of Allah” was also posted on social media.
Along with the posts was one of Cerantonio’s old videos where he talked about how a dream had been realised when the caliphate, a form of Islamic government, was established.
It is led by a caliph, who is considered a political and religious successor to Islamic profit and a leader to the entire Muslim community.
Cerantonio told Canadian journalist Graeme Wood that a Muslim has to pledge himself to a legitimate caliph, and if they die without doing so, they have failed to live a fully Islamic life.
“To die without pledging allegiance is to die jahil (ignorant) and therefore die a ‘death of disbelief”,” he told the journalist.
The radical preacher would not confirm whether he himself had pledged allegiance, but it is illegal to pledge allegiance to Islamic State under Australian law.
But he said he regarded the caliphate as the “only righteous government on earth”.
Wood reported Cerantonio hated seeing the violence, despite Islamic State supporters required to endorse it.
Cerantonio is linked to fellow radical Australian convert, Junaid Thorne, who has also re-emerged online after recently being released from jail.
He was imprisoned in August last year for booking airline tickets under a fake name.