Daily Israel Report

State Department Confirms U.S. Citizen Carried Out Syria Attack

The United States confirms it believes an American citizen carried out a suicide bombing within Syria.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 5/31/2014, 1:01 AM

A fighter from the Al Qaeda-aligned Nusra Front fires a mounted machine gun
A fighter from the Al Qaeda-aligned Nusra Front fires a mounted machine gun
Reuters

The United States confirmed on Friday that it believes an American citizen carried out a suicide bombing within Syria, AFP reported.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki did not provide any details about the suspect, who had been identified in a New York Times report as a man in his 20s from Florida and of Middle Eastern descent.

"I can confirm that this individual was a U.S. citizen," Psaki said, adding that he was "involved in a suicide bombing inside Syria."

According to a video released by supporters of the rebel Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front, the American, who was identified by the name Abu Hurayra al-Amriki, carried out a suicide truck bombing in the Syrian town of Idlib.

The video, reported by the private terrorism watchdog SITE Intelligence Group, depicts a huge explosion as well as footage of a young, bearded man cradling a cat and identified as the attacker.

The bombing is thought to have taken place on Sunday. The New York Times report cited U.S. officials as saying they thought it was the first such suicide attack to have been carried out by an American.

Western powers have expressed concern that some of their citizens have traveled to fight in the civil war in Syria, some of them joining extremist groups that might one day seek to strike their home countries.

In February it was estimated that at least 50 U.S. citizens are fighting in Syria against Assad, and are liable to bring terrorism back to their home country once the war is over.

Other published statistics say that over 75,000 foreign nationals have been fighting in the Syrian civil war. While the majority are from Muslim countries, there are also Russians, Germans, Canadians and French citizens taking part in the fighting.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)