Quantcast
Connect with us

Report: American behind suicide bombing in Syria ‘was very happy’ to carry it out

Published

on

An American fighting for a hardline Islamist group carried out a deadly suicide bombing in Syria, U.S. officials said Friday, in the first such case in the war.

The confirmation came amid growing fears over the flood of foreigners into Syria, with no end in sight in the three-year war that has already left 162,000 people dead.

ADVERTISEMENT

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki identified the suicide bomber as Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha.

Abu-Salha is thought to have been behind a truck bombing against regime forces on Sunday in the northern province of Idlib.

He went by the alias Abu Hurayra Al-Amriki. Abu Hurayra refers to a companion of the prophet Mohammed and Al-Amriki means “the American” in Arabic.

Psaki agreed it was believed to be the first such suicide bombing carried out by an American since the start of the war in 2011.

ADVERTISEMENT

Estimates of the number of foreign fighters who have flooded into Syria in the past three years range from between 9,000 to 11,000, with most believed to have come from neighboring countries.

Psaki could not give precise figures of how many Americans may be among them.

But The New York Times said about 100 Americans are believed to have traveled to Syria, mainly to join the rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

ADVERTISEMENT

There were few other details about the mysterious American, who is said to have joined the Al-Nusra Front, which was recently outlawed by the U.S. as a terrorist group.

The Times, citing law enforcement officials, said he was aged in his 20s, of Middle Eastern descent and from the southern state of Florida.

He is believed to have spent two months in a training camp in the divided city of Aleppo, and was on his second visit to Syria, having returned there late last year, the U.S. daily said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Abu-Salha was named with the help of witnesses and family members, the Times reported, citing law enforcement officials who believe his remains may never be properly identified due to the force of the blast.

– Gone to ‘meet his God’-

A Syrian fighter from the Al-Nusra Front told the Times that Abu-Salha was an Arab-American who spoke only poor Arabic, but was dedicated to the extremists’ cause.

ADVERTISEMENT

“He was a generous, brave, tough man, always on the front lines in battles,” the fighter told the U.S. daily.

“When his turn came up” to carry out a suicide bombing, he “was very happy, because he will meet his God after that,” the fighter, who called himself Abu Abdulrahman, told the Times via Facebook.

Concerns are mounting among Western powers that — like Afghanistan in the past — Syria is becoming a training ground for a generation of militants who will return as battle-hardened veterans ready to carry out attacks both at home and abroad.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We are closely tracking and closely working with our partners and allies about our concern about the growth of foreign fighters and the growth of extremism,” Psaki said, only days after U.S. President Barack Obama unveiled a new $5 billion fund dedicated to the fight against terror.

Reports that an American had been involved in the Idlib bombing have been circulating for days.

A video released by Al-Nusra supporters, first reported on by the private terror watchdog SITE Intelligence Group, shows a huge explosion and footage of a young, bearded man cradling a cat and identified as the attacker.

ADVERTISEMENT

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Trump aides desperately try to downplay ‘order’ to US companies to leave China

Published

on

Donald Trump's top aides on Sunday downplayed the idea of US companies being forced to abandon China any time soon, as an edict from the president ordering businesses to start looking for alternatives has been met with skepticism.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economics advisor Larry Kudlow took to the airwaves from France, where Trump is participating in the G7 summit, to smooth out tensions in the business community prompted by Trump's Friday tweet.

Trump said he has "no plan now" to bring US companies in line, and his aides quickly reinforced the message.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Trump sparks confusion at G7 before doubling down on China tariffs

Published

on

President Donald Trump doubled down Sunday on his hard line against China after sowing confusion with statements that he might be willing to soften a trade war G7 partners fear threatens the world economy.

At the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Trump announced a major trade deal with Japan and promised more of the same with Britain, once Brexit is done.

But the positives were overshadowed by a mix-up over his apparent expression of regret for the latest escalation in the US-China dispute.

"I have second thoughts about everything," he conceded to reporters when asked if he regretted his decision on Friday to ramp up tariffs on all Chinese imports, worth some $550 billion, in retaliation for Beijing's earlier hike of levies on US goods.

Continue Reading
 

Fox News

G7 wrestles with Iran, Amazon fires and trade, but own unity shaky

Published

on

G7 leaders close their summit Monday with discussion of world problems including the fires ravaging the Amazon rainforest, but overshadowed by President Donald Trump's trade wars and questions over the group's unity.

The summit in Biarritz, a high-end surfers' paradise in southwestern France, saw a dramatic shift of focus Saturday when Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif flew in to discuss the diplomatic deadlock on Tehran's disputed nuclear programme.

Zarif's presence had not been expected and it represented a gamble by French host Emmanuel Macron who is seeking to soothe spiralling tensions between Iran and the United States.

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
HELP US UNCOVER CORRUPTION!
close-link
close-image