American ISIS Propagandist Ahmad Abousamra Reported Killed in Iraq Airstrike
An American, Ahmad Abousamra, who was wanted by the FBI since 2009 and listed on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list since 2013, was killed today according to a statement published by the Iraqi government. He was reportedly one of the top ISIS media propagandist officials and involved in the production of videos showing the beheadings of Western ISIS hostages.
The Iraqi Ministry of Interior announced the death of dozens of ISIS terrorists in an air strike in the west of Anbar province, Al Arabiya News Channel reported on Sunday.
Among those killed was “Abu Mohammed al-Soory,” also known as “Abi Samra,” who is reportedly an expert in filmmaking, and ISIS documentary film maker, “Abu Osama al-Amriky.”
And in a statement obtained by Al Arabiya News, the Iraqi Ministry of Interior announced the elimination of various ISIS commanders of various nationalities in an air strike that targeted their compound in the city of Qaim in the jurisdiction of Fallujah, “after following the leaderships (ISIS) meetings in a complex reconnaissance operation.” [...]
The statement by the ministry added that, “amongst those killed were Abu Mohammed the Syria, nicknamed Abu Samra, who is an ISIS filmmaking expert, Abu Osama the American who is a documentary specialist for the militant group in addition to Abu Hareth Al Shami, Abu Aicha Al Ansari who is an explosives expert, Abu Saif Al Jazrawy, a Morrocan national, Abu Hussein Al Sulaimani who was in charge of the militant group’s charity foundation, Abdullatif Jumaa Al Mohammedy who was in charge of suicide bomber operations in Fallujah.
From the Iraqi Interior Ministry statement, it appears that another American, Abu Osama al-Amriki, may have also been killed.
Abousamra, who fled the U.S. in 2006 and was indicted in a Boston-area terrorism case in 2009, was identified as one of the top ISIS propaganda experts who may have been involved in the production and filming of videos showing the beheading of Western ISIS hostages.
In announcing Abousamra's addition to the Most Wanted Terrorists list, the FBI said about his 2009 indictment:
Ahmad Abousamra was indicted after taking multiple trips to Pakistan and Yemen, where he allegedly attempted to obtain military training for the purpose of killing American soldiers overseas. On November 5, 2009, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Abousamra in the United States District Court, District of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, after he was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists; providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists; conspiracy to kill in a foreign country; conspiracy; and false statements. Abousamra was indicted on a total of nine charges and should be considered armed and dangerous.
The FBI had previously published this video, "Seeking Ahmad Abousamra":
ABC News reported back in September about Abousamra's propaganda role for the Islamic State:
The senior law enforcement official said it appears now that Abousamra may have taken up a similar job with ISIS as his co-conspirators had for AQI. Abousamra, the FBI says, has a "college degree related to computer technology and was previously employed at a telecommunications company."
"There continues to be a worldwide search for Abousamra and he will be pursued until he is found," another official, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kieran Ramsey, told ABC News. The government offers a $50,000 reward for information leading to his capture.
Terrorism observers have noted ISIS's media savvy, from viral meme-like postings and hashtag campaigns on Twitter to elaborate full-production videos - efforts that can multiply the perception of ISIS's breadth and power in Syria and Iraq.
As investigative journalist Paul Sperry reported for the New York Post, Abousamra was also tied to the notorious Islamic Society of Boston mosque also attended by the Boston bombers and other convicted terrorists:
Abousamra’s father, a prominent doctor, even sat on the board of directors of the Muslim organization that runs the mosque. He stepped down after the FBI began questioning his son. [...]
Abousamra’s father, Dr. Abdulbadi Abousamra, was president of the Islamic Center of New England mosques until 2007, when he moved to Detroit. The FBI began questioning his son a year earlier. 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.
Ilya Feoktistov, Director of Research for the Boston-based Americans for Peace and Tolerance, which has tracked Islamic extremism and terrorism cases in the Boston area, has thoroughly documented the Abousamra family ties to ISB.
In a statement provided to PJ Media, Feoktistov said:
Ahmad Abousamra was just one of twelve individuals Americans for Peace and Tolerance have identified as worshippers or leaders at the extremist Islamic Society of Boston who have either been killed, imprisoned, or are fugitives from the law due to terrorist activity. Abousamra was not just a fringe figure in the Boston Muslim community. To the contrary, his father was vice president of the Muslim American Society, president of the Islamic Center of New England mosques in the Boston suburbs, and is still the president of the Islamic Academy of New England – a K-5 religious private school. Abousamra Sr. left America for Qatar after his son was announced as wanted by the FBI.
Abousamra's death might temporarily put a crimp in the Islamic State's propaganda efforts targeting Westerners, but with more than a hundred Americans and U.S. persons fighting for terror groups in Syria and Iraq, Abousamra may be quickly replaced.