The first known American suicide bomber in Syria carried out an attack on behalf of an Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group on Sunday, according to reports. This is the first time an American has carried out such an attack in the war-torn nation.
Law enforcement and counterterrorism officials told NBC News that they were able to both confirm the identity of the American and that they also confirmed the suicide bombing. They wouldn’t disclose the man’s name or hometown, however.
Word of the American’s involvement first surfaced via Twitter by the Al-Qaeda-linked group Al-Nusra, who’s been viciously fighting against President Bashar Al-Assad’s government. Al-Nusra has been blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government and the United Nations for pledging allegiance to Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The tweets that were posted identified the man by his Arabic name “Abu Hurayra al-Amriki,” (Abu Hurayra the American), saying he carried out one of four suicide attacks at Syrian government sites.
A young, bearded and smiling white man holding a cat appeared in the tweets along with images of the bombing they gave him credit for. The video that surfaced of the bombing also shows the same man loading a truck with explosives and wearing a suicide vest. It also showed a picture of the man while quoting verses from the Quran.