Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Al Qaeda affiliated rebels in Syria claimed Wednesday that an American took part in a series of suicide bombings of military checkpoints and government targets in northern Syria on Sunday.
Abu Farouk al Shamy, a spokesman for the rebel Suqour al-Sham battalion, made the claim to CNN while a YouTube video titled “the American martyrdom from al-Nusra Front” identified the American bomber as Abu Hurayra Al-Amriki, who was killed in the attack. The video also showed militants preparing for the suicide bombings in Jabal Al-Arba’een, near the city of Ariha in Idlib province.
Radical Islamic websites also showed photos of a bearded Abu Hurayra holding a cat. Another photo released by the rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra showed Abu Hurayra together with three other jihadists all wearing explosive vests before the attack.
CBS News reported that an al Qaeda video released Monday shows a truck being loaded with bombs and a subsequent explosion at a government complex. Social media postings by Syrian activists said four vehicles were involved in the attacks and one loaded with 17 tons of explosives was detonated by the American.
Al Qaeda in the Levant member Abu Suleiman al-Muhajer tweeted the American’s picture with the words, “Abu Hurayra Al-Amriki performed a martyrdom operation in Idlib, Jabal Al-Arba’een. May Allah accept him.” The tweet was posted on the radical Islamist website Hanein.
U.S. officials are claiming they know the American but would not release his name.
The FBI is aware that several Americans have joined Islamist rebels in Syria to topple the government of President Bashar al-Assad.