Amiir Farouk Ibrahim

Amiir Farouk Ibrahim was reportedly the second American to die fighting alongside ISIS.Betsy Hiel, “Quick demise of ISIS terrorist group unlikely, experts say,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, February 7, 2015, http://triblive.com/usworld/betsyhiel/7730474-74/isis-syria-paz#axzz3pmghFC3v.

Ibrahim was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and held dual U.S.-Egyptian citizenship. His father, Farouk, worked for Pittsburgh’s steel industry and spent 14 years in western Pennsylvania. The family returned to the Middle East when Ibrahim was a small child.Betsy Hiel and Carl Prine, “Pittsburgh man reported killed in Syria,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 26, 2013, http://triblive.com/news/editorspicks/4415705-74/ibrahim-syria-syrian#axzz3pmghFC3v. Ibrahim returned to the United States in 2003 to attend college.Carl Prine and Betsy Hiel, “Pittsburgh-born man seduced by Syria's holy war,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 27, 2013, http://triblive.com/news/editorspicks/4423864-74/ibrahim-syria-foreign#axzz3pmghFC3v. After he graduated in 2008, Ibrahim reportedly wanted to stay in America to proselytize for Islam, but his family convinced him to return to Cairo.Betsy Hiel and Carl Prine, “Pittsburgh man reported killed in Syria,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 26, 2013, http://triblive.com/news/editorspicks/4415705-74/ibrahim-syria-syrian#axzz3pmghFC3v.

Ibrahim was heavily involved in Islamic activities, and worked at an Islamic university in Cairo. In 2011, Ibrahim began posting Islamist propaganda on his Facebook page. He supported the Islamist Hazem Abu Ismail, who was running for president against Hosni Mubarak. Ibrahim wrote that he dreamed of Egypt becoming an Islamic state. Ibrahim also praised Mohammed Bouyeri, who murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh in November 2004 over an anti-Islam film Van Gogh had made. Ibrahim referred to Bouyeri as a “hero” who “put an end to these extreme insults … making fun of our religion and Quran.” Ibrahim also referred to Shiite Muslims as “Shia dogs in Iraq.”Betsy Hiel, “Web postings praise killer of Dutch filmmaker, jihad,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 26, 2013, http://triblive.com/usworld/betsyhiel/4424262-74/bouyeri-filmmaker-gogh#axzz3pmghFC3v.

In early 2013, Ibrahim reportedly met a group of Turkish men who allegedly wanted Ibrahim to join them in a software business. Between February and March 2013, Ibrahim moved to Turkey. From Turkey he crossed into Syria. Ibrahim would call his family from Syria and tell them he was helping people escape the fighting. His father refused to speak to him during those calls. Farouk Ibrahim had earlier refused his son’s request for permission to go to Syria.Betsy Hiel and Carl Prine, “Pittsburgh man reported killed in Syria,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 26, 2013, http://triblive.com/news/editorspicks/4415705-74/ibrahim-syria-syrian#axzz3pmghFC3v.

In July 2013, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights found Ibrahim’s passport in an abandoned ISIS camp among a stack of travel documents belonging to foreign fighters. ISIS had retreated from the camp after fighting with the Kurdish group Yekineyen Parastina Gel (People’s Protection Units, or YPG). The British group said it did not know the fate of the passports’ owners, but one of Ibrahim’s brothers in Cairo reported to the media that a friend had told him Ibrahim had been killed in Syria.Betsy Hiel, “Web postings praise killer of Dutch filmmaker, jihad,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 26, 2013, http://triblive.com/usworld/betsyhiel/4424262-74/bouyeri-filmmaker-gogh#axzz3pmghFC3v.

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