2 American jihadis killed in Iraqi air strike

Sickening: Abousamra has been widely speculated as the man behind ISIS' hugely successful manipulation of social media to spread the group's propaganda and to recruit new members to the organization.

Sickening: Abousamra has been widely speculated as the man behind ISIS' hugely successful manipulation of social media to spread the group's propaganda and to recruit new members to the organization.

From The Daily Mail

By John Hall

Two American nationals - including a jihadi featured on the FBI's 'Most Wanted Terrorists' list - are believed to have been killed fighting for the Islamic State in Iraq.

Ahmad Abousamra, 33, and Abu Osama al-Amriki are understood to have died as a result of an airstrike by Iraqi warplanes in the west of the largely ISIS-held province of Anbar.

Killed: Ahmad Abousamra, 33, was well known to the authorities in the U.S. and appeared on the FBI's 'Most Wanted Terrorists' list with a $50,000 reward.

Killed: Ahmad Abousamra, 33, was well known to the authorities in the U.S. and appeared on the FBI's 'Most Wanted Terrorists' list with a $50,000 reward.

A number of other senior ISIS commanders - including the jihadi in charge of local suicide bombing operations - were also killed in the airstrikes. 

The Americans are said to have been heavily involved in the production of ISIS' propaganda videos, and have even been linked to the sickening filmed beheadings of two Britons and three U.S. nationals in a series of videos released by the terror group last summer.

The deaths of the two America nationals were released by the the Iraqi military to the Al Arabiya news service following the successful airstrike.

They are said to have been killed alongside a number of senior ISIS figures of Middle East and North African origin, including explosives expert Abu Aicha al-Ansari, charity supervisor Abu Hussein al-Sulaimani and suicide bomb coordinator Abdullatif Jumaa al-Mohammedi.

The two Americans were expressly identified as having a senior role within ISIS' production and distribution of sickening propaganda videos - potentially including those featuring the murder of Western hostages James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines, Alan Henning and Peter Kassig.

France-born Abousamra has long been known to American authorities, having been questioned in 2006 on suspicion of having travelled to Iraq to join a fledgling ISIS in their fight against U.S. troops two years earlier. 

Later that year Abousamra is believed to have slipped out of the country and headed to Syria.

In 2009, he was charged with federal terrorism offenses relating to a would-be attack in Boston. In 2013 he was placed on the FBI's Most Wanted list, with a $50,000 reward for his capture.

Abousamra has been widely speculated as the man behind ISIS' hugely successful manipulation of social media to spread the group's propaganda and to recruit new members to the organisation.

It has been suggested he led the team responsible for the distribution of ISIS propaganda videos, including the simultaneous posting of sickening videos showing the murder of Western hostages.

Abousamra was born in France and raised in the upscale Boston suburb of Stoughton. He attended the exclusive Xaverian Brothers Catholic high school and made the Dean's List at Northeastern University and his father is a prominent endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

He graduated with a degree in a technology field then took a job at a telecommunications company but by his early 20s is understood to have become radicalised, according to ABC News.

In 2004, federal authorities say, Abousamra left his American life behind and traveled to fight U.S. soldiers as part of Al-Qaeda in Iraq - the group that later became known as Islamic State or ISIS.

Instead, he was recruited to the groups 'media wing' - a role is believed to have held until his death. 

Militants fighting for the Islamic State were not merely exaggerating when they boasted of potentially acquiring nuclear weapons from Pakistan, India's defence minister has warned.

Speaking at a security conference in Singapore, Rao Inderjit Singh said that with billions in the bank and contact with powerful Pakistani arms dealers, it is feasible that ISIS could buy a nuclear bomb. 

His comments lend weight to ISIS' own claims last month that it is 'infinitely' closer to acquiring nuclear weapons, which it would then attempt to smuggle into North America and detonate. 

Those boasts appeared in an article published in the terror group's propaganda magazine Dabiq, and was said to have been written by the British journalist turned ISIS prisoner, John Cantlie.

Speaking at the security conference, Mr Singh said: 'With the rise of ISIS in West Asia, one is afraid to an extent that perhaps they might get access to a nuclear arsenal from states like Pakistan.'

His comments came just a week after the militants themselves claimed that acquiring nuclear weapons is 'more possible today than it was just one year ago'.

Abousamra returned to the U.S. for undisclosed reasons in 2006 and was questioned about his disappearance but released without charge. He later slipped out the country and rejoined ISIS. 

U.S. authorities believe Abousamra used his background in telecommunications to master social media, encouraging fighters to communicate with their followers, encouraging them to join the terror group or help spread their chilling propaganda videos.

Last September investigative journalist Paul Sperry wrote a report in the New York Post claiming Abousamra had attended the same notorious mosque as the Boston bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as well as other convicted terrorists.

'Abousamra's father, a prominent doctor, even sat on the board of directors of the Muslim organization that runs the [Islamic Society of Boston] mosque. He stepped down after the FBI began questioning his son,' Sperry said.

'As mosque president, internal documents show, Dr. Abousamra hired Hafiz Masood, brother of a known Pakistani terrorist, to be the imam of a mosque in Sharon, Mass., which his son also attended,' the article added.

As yet little information has been revealed about the other American national killed alongside Abousamra, although the Iraqi military called him an 'ISIS documentary film maker'.

The jihadi's background is not known, but his use of 'al-Amriki' - Arabic for 'the American' - in his nom de guerre clearly indicates a U.S. link.

(source)


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