The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), in the latest edition of its online propaganda magazine Rumiyah, eulogized a French-born U.S./Syria dual citizen wanted by the FBI and considered a recruiter and essential operative in the jihadist group’s media efforts.
— Thomas Joscelyn (@thomasjoscelyn) April 6, 2017
In January, American college graduate Ahmad Abousamra, 36, was killed in a U.S.-led coalition airstrike.
An article in Rumiyah titled, “Among the Believers Are Men” confirmed the death of the terrorist who had been wanted by the FBI since 2013 for conspiracy to provide support to jihadists and conspiracy to kill American service members abroad.
Known by various aliases, the magazine identifies Abousamra as Abu Sulayman ash-Shami and describes him as one of the founders of the Rumiyah magazine, “the goal of which was to expand the Islamic State’s reach by releasing one magazine in several languages.”
According to the publication, Abousamra in collaboration with other terrorists attempted to carry out an attack on U.S. soil.
After obtaining an engineering and programming degree from the University of Massachusetts, the jihadist traveled to terrorism-linked countries Yemen, Pakistan, and Iraq in search of assistance to carry out the terrorist assault.
U.S. authorities foiled his nefarious plan in 2006, and Abousamra evaded arrest and escaped to Syria.
In 2009, he was indicted and charged in absentia with terrorism-linked offenses affiliated with his travels to Pakistan and Yemen where he attempted to gain terrorist training.
He was added the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list in 2013. The United States offered a $50,000 reward for information that could lead to his capture.
He didn’t stay long until he decided to try and make America itself the frontlines for his jihad and the place for his martyrdom. So along with two of his companions he planned to carry out an operation that would target Americans in their own land. They drew up their plans for their desired operation, including the seizure of some weapons from the Crusaders, which they would then use for an attack behind enemy lines that they hoped would cause the killing of a large number of polytheists.
Rumiyah goes on to note that American authorities thwarted their plan “just days” before it was scheduled to be carried out
“But Allah saved him from falling into captivity, allowing him to leave America before the FBI could gather sufficient information to release an order for his arrest at the borders and airports,” adds the ISIS propaganda magazine. “So he returned to the birthplace of his fathers in Sham [Syria], staying in the city of Aleppo for a few years, seeking knowledge, calling his family and friends to tawhid, and anticipating his next chance to wage jihad. “
Abousamra was born in France. The article points out that he began to engage in jihad in Syria at the start of the country’s ongoing civil war in 2001.
He reportedly joined Syria’s former al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusa, or the Nusra Front, before the infighting that led to the split between al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Rumiyah asserts Abousamra was loyal to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, adding that he condemned those who followed Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani, the leader of the Nusra Front.
Eventually, ISIS media leader Abu Muhammad Al-Furqan recruited the U-Mass graduate as he was laying the foundation for the group’s growing ISIS media operation.
ISIS leadership trusted Abousamra to clarify and disseminate the terrorist group’s ideological message under the pseudonym Abou Maysara Al-Shami, reveals the magazine.
“He departed, having known that media is for calling people to Allah, guiding them to His cause, and inciting them to kill His enemies,” concluded the Rumiyah article, praising Abousamra for his contributions to “media jihad.”
The late jihadist served as chief editor of ISIS’s former online propaganda magazine Dabiq.
“Abousamra, the son of a well-known Massachusetts endocrinologist, was raised in a high-end Boston suburb, attending private Catholic high school and making the Dean’s List at Northeastern University,” reports the Foreign Desk.
Rumiyah, Arabic for Rome and a reference to an Islamic prophecy that predicts the fall of Rome, has been largely dedicated to familiarizing jihadists with “do it yourself” (DIY) terror tactics.