An Islamic State radio bulletin Tuesday said that, "The brother Abu Dawud al-Amriki (may Allah accept him) launched himself with his explosives-laden truck,” reports Agence France Presse. The last part of that pseudonym — “al-Amriki” — means “from America.”
The bulletin provided no more details as to the bomber’s identity however, and if the man’s identity is confirmed, it would be the first time a US citizen has killed himself fighting for the Islamic State. Photos purporting to show Abu Dawud al-Amriki — with only his eyes uncovered by a mask — were posted by pro-Islamic State social media accounts and quickly circulated online.
— Flashpoint Partners (@FlashpointIntel) March 3, 2015
The attack was near the town of Samarra, in Salaheddin province. Samarra is under government control and has been the base of operations to launch an attack to wrest Tikrit — which lies further north along the Tigris river — back from ISIL forces.
Radicalized Foreign Fighters Growing Concern, to Europe
An estimated 20,000 foreign fighters from 90 different countries are believed to have travelled to the region, which has raised fears — particularly in Europe — of radicalized fighters then returning home. Recent estimates are that over 2,500 European fighters had joined the conflict in Iraq and Syria, up significantly from 1,937 in 2013. The top two countries of origin are France and the UK.
US officials have estimated that around 180 Americans have traveled to the region of the fighting, and that about 40 have returned to the US.
In a recent talk, US intelligence chief James Clapper said that he did not think that number posed a significant threat to American security since most had gone abroad for “humanitarian purposes or some other reasons that don’t relate to plotting.”
“If they come back, and they are not involved in plotting, or don’t have nefarious purpose, that’s their right and privilege as an American citizen to come back,” Clapper told an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations on Monday.
— JewishFeed.com (@JewishFeed) March 3, 2015