U.S. Investigating Claims American Islamic State Fighter Died in Kobani

Man believed to have lived in the U.S. for some 10 years before travelling to Syria and joining jihadi group.

Mark Hosenball
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Demonstrators chant pro-Islamic State slogans as they carry the group's flags in Iraq.
Demonstrators chant pro-Islamic State slogans as they carry the group's flags in Iraq.Credit: AP
Mark Hosenball

REUTERS - U.S. government agencies are investigating claims that an American fighting with the Islamic State militant group died recently in the besieged Syrian border town of Kobani.

U.S. officials said law enforcement and intelligence agencies were trying to confirm Internet postings by Islamic State militants which last weekend reported the "martyrdom" of a fighter known as Abu Muhammad al-Amriki.

The nom-de-guerre indicated that the man considered himself an American.

In a video posted on YouTube in February, a bearded man believed by U.S. authorities to be the same individual is seen speaking English with a heavy foreign accent.

The man in the video said he had lived in the United States for about 10 years before traveling to Syria to join Islamist militants. It is unclear if he was a U.S. citizen.

U.S. officials say at least a handful of Americans - including a Michigan woman and men from Florida and Minnesota - have died in Syrian fighting over the last two years. One of the men, Moner Mohammed Abusalha, blew himself up in a suicide bombing earlier this year, they say.

U.S. and European authorities are deeply concerned about Western foreign fighters in Syria who might return to their home countries to carry out attacks.

On Tuesday, presidential counter-terrorism advisor Lisa Monaco discussed this threat with New York Mayor Bill De Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton, according to a White House announcement.

Precise circumstances of the latest reported American death in Syria were unclear. Flashpoint Partners, a firm which monitors jihadist Web traffic, said Abu Muhammad was reported to have been killed during recent clashes in Kobani, the Kurdish town in Syria on the Turkish border that has been under attack for days by Islamic State fighters.

Flashpoint said some message traffic suggested that Abu Muhammad was wounded, not killed.

In the video posted last winter, the man calling himself Abu Muhammad said when he originally arrived in Syria he was an Al-Qaida affiliate but he had defected to Islamic State after the groups clashed.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, this month.

Lapid to Haaretz: ‘I Have Learned to Respect the Left’

“Dubi,” whose full name is secret in keeping with instructions from the Mossad.

The Mossad’s Fateful 48 Hours Before the Yom Kippur War

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer