The Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking for helpidentifying an “unknown individual” with a “North American accent” who appeared in a propaganda video released by the jihadist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) last month.
To help find the man, the FBI released an excerpt of the video, which it said was published online Sept. 19.
“In the video, a man whose face is obscured by a mask alternates seamlessly between English and Arabic in pro-ISIL pronouncements intended to appeal to a Western audience,” an FBI statement said. “Dressed in desert camouflage and wearing a shoulder holster, the masked man can be seen standing in front of purported prisoners as they dig their own graves and then later presiding over their executions.”
The man in the video describes the people being executed as soldiers of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. According to the FBI, they released the excerpt in the hopes “someone might recognise the man through his voice and appearance.”
“We’re hoping that someone might recognise this individual and provide us with key pieces of information,” said Michael Steinbach, assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. “No piece of information is too small.”
FBI Director James Comey has said there may be about a dozen Americans fighting alongside ISIS. The bureau’s statement about the “unknown individual” in the video said the FBI is also conducting an “outreach campaign” in an attempt to solicit tips about Americans who might leave the country to join jihadist groups.
“The threat of U.S. citizens travelling overseas to fight alongside terrorist groups is not new,” the FBI statement said. “Two years ago, a Chicago man was imprisoned for planning to travel to Somalia in 2010 to join al Shabaab. Last year, an Albanian man living in Brooklyn was sentenced to 15 years for attempting to travel to Pakistan to engage in violent jihad. Last month, a New York man pleaded guilty to attempting to travel to Yemen in 2012 to support al Qaeda. On Saturday, a 19-year-old Chicago man was arrested for allegedly attempting to travel overseas to join ISIL.”
View the wanted posted for the the “unknown individual” with the American accent and the excerpt of the ISIS video distributed by the FBI below.
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