Troy Kastigar

Kastigar was an American who bore arms on behalf of al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda affiliate operating in the horn of Africa, especially Somalia. Kastigar was nicknamed “Abdurahman the American” after arriving in Somalia in November 2008.Michael Daly, “American Jihadis Douglas McCain and Troy Kastigar: From Losers to Martyrs,” Daily Beast, August 28, 2014, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/28/american-jihadis-douglas-mccain-and-troy-kastigar-from-loser-to-martyr.html.

Kastigar grew up outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he attended Robbinsdale Cooper High School in New Hope with his close friend and future ISIS fighter Douglas McCain.Michael Daly, “American Jihadis Douglas McCain and Troy Kastigar: From Losers to Martyrs,” Daily Beast, August 28, 2014, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/28/american-jihadis-douglas-mccain-and-troy-kastigar-from-loser-to-martyr.html. Kastigar was described as an affable young man who would bring food to homeless people. Kastigar was also described by close acquaintances as being “easily persuaded.” The impressionable Kastigar resided in the state with the largest concentration of Somalis in the country and a fertile recruiting ground for al-Shabab.Michael Daly, “American Jihadis Douglas McCain and Troy Kastigar: From Losers to Martyrs,” Daily Beast, August 28, 2014, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/28/american-jihadis-douglas-mccain-and-troy-kastigar-from-loser-to-martyr.html.

Kastigar had a few brushes with the law, and a mug shot shows that he had a tattoo on the right side of his neck that included “MOB” in apparent tribute to a local rap crew called GMOB.Michael Daly, “American Jihadis Douglas McCain and Troy Kastigar: From Losers to Martyrs,” Daily Beast, August 28, 2014, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/28/american-jihadis-douglas-mccain-and-troy-kastigar-from-loser-to-martyr.html. In November 2008, Kastigar informed his mother that he was traveling to Kenya to study the Quran. Instead, Kastigar made his way to Somalia to join al-Shabab.Michael Daly, “American Jihadis Douglas McCain and Troy Kastigar: From Losers to Martyrs,” Daily Beast, August 28, 2014, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/28/american-jihadis-douglas-mccain-and-troy-kastigar-from-loser-to-martyr.html.

Kastigar was killed in 2009. After his death, Kastigar was praised by al-Shabab in a recruitment video as a “Minnesotan martyr.”Michael Daly, “American Jihadis Douglas McCain and Troy Kastigar: From Losers to Martyrs,” Daily Beast, August 28, 2014, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/28/american-jihadis-douglas-mccain-and-troy-kastigar-from-loser-to-martyr.html.

Also Known As

Extremist entity
Al-Shabab
Type(s) of Organization:
Insurgent, non-state actor, religious, terrorist, transnational, violent
Ideologies and Affiliations:
Al-Qaeda affiliated group, Islamist, jihadist, Qutbist, Salafist, Sunni, takfiri, Wahhabi
Position(s):
Foreign fighter

Al-Qaeda’s Somali-based branch, al-Shabaab, seeks to establish a fundamentalist Islamic state. The group has carried out a score of violent terror attacks, including the September 2013 Westgate Mall attacks in Nairobi, Kenya.

  • Rhetoric
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Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.

In Their Own Words:

So you go to India, and if you see a Hindu walking down the road you are allowed to kill him and take his money, is that clear? Jews should be killed ... as by Hitler. People with British passports, if you fly into Israel, it is easy. Fly into Israel and do whatever you can. If you die, you are up in paradise. How do you fight a Jew? You kill a Jew. In the case of Hindus, by bombing their businesses.

Abdullah Faisal, ISIS Propagandist Undated
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