Report: American Who Fought for Islamic State Detained in Syria


Ibraheem Musaibli, a United States citizen believed to have been fighting for the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), was reportedly captured in northern Syria this month by the U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), according to a report published Thursday.

According to ABC News, Musaibli, 28, is the second U.S. citizen known to have been captured fighting for the Islamic State in Syria. He is reportedly from Dearborn, Michigan.

The New York Times noted that he and an Indiana couple were also detained and may be brought to America for prosecution.

Samantha Elhassani reportedly traveled to Syria with her husband and their four children. Her husband was killed fighting for ISIS, and her children traveled to a refugee camp guarded by the SDF, a coalition of militia fighters primarily made up of Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG/YPJ) fighters. There, she had identified herself to local authorities.

Her ten-year-old son reportedly once appeared in an ISIS propaganda video during which he pledged to carry out attacks against the West.

The incident is not the first of such an arrest of an American on a Syrian battlefield. In September, the Pentagon confirmed that a U.S. citizen, referred to only as “John Doe” and believed to have joined the Islamic State, had been detained after surrendering to the SDF. According to court papers, Doe joined the Islamic militant group in 2014.

Court documents also noted that Doe reportedly claimed he entered Syria as a freelance journalist and was kidnapped and forced to work for the Islamic State until he was able to escape on a water truck and turn himself in to the Kurds. The Kurds then reportedly handed him over to the U.S. military.

The ACLU sued on Doe’s behalf over the Trump administration’s attempt to move Doe to Saudi Arabian custody and was subsequently blocked by a U.S. federal court. Since then, the Pentagon has reportedly stated it wishes to drop Doe back off in the same Syrian town where he was initially detained, which prompted another ACLU lawsuit.

Johnathan Hafetz, the attorney representing Doe, said releasing his client into Syria would amount to a “death warrant.”

“What the government is offering our client is no release — it’s a death warrant,” Hafetz said in a statement last month. “This is a disgraceful way to treat an American citizen. Now, our fight for our client’s right to due process has also become a fight for his right to life. We’ll be asking the court to immediately intervene and ensure the safe release of our client.”

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.