Ahmad Abousamra, a dual U.S./Syrian citizen from Mansfield, Massachusetts, is seen in this FBI handout photo taken in 2004. It’s reported by ABC News that Abousamra, 32, is responsible for much of ISIS’ Twitter posts and YouTube uploads, possibly including the execution footage of American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley.
Here’s what you need to know about ISIS’ social media man:
1. There’s a $50,000 Bounty on His Head
Speaking to ABC News, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kieran Ramsey said “There continues to be a worldwide search for Abousamra and he will be pursued until he is found. He’s believe to be in Syria right now and is facing charges in the US from 2009 and 2013 relating to terrorism.
2. He’s a UMass Graduate
Abousamra has been able to turn the computer skills he learned while studying and graduating from the University of Massachusetts and Northwestern toward terror, reports the Boston Herald. The paper says that he left UMASS in 2006. According to the FBI, Abousamra was employed by a telecommunications company before devoting his life to terror. He was born in France in September 1981 but moved to the U.S. when he was child.
3. Abousamra Is Good Friend With Another American Terrorist
He is a good friend of Tarek Mehanna, a former pharmacist-turned terrorist, from Sudbury, Massachusetts. The Boston Herald wrote that Abousamra used to spend their time together watching Jihadi videos. At one stage the pair are alleged to have sought to buy automatic weapons to shoot up a mall. Mehanna is being held in prison in Marion, Illinois, on terrorism charges. Abousamra is considered a co-defendant in Mehanna’s case.
4. He First Went to Syria in 2004
The FBI’s official release indicates that Abousamra first went to Syria in 2004 but had previously spent time in Pakistan in 2002. It’s believed that he got his terrorist training while in Pakistan. After leaving for Syria in February 2004, he returned in August, telling border police who stopped him at Logan airport that he had become ill. He also said that he had tried to get work as an Arabic/English translator in Iraq. The ABC News report indicates that Abousamra was questioned by the FBI about his terrorism activities in 2006. After this, he fled to Syria and hasn’t returned. He is thought to be hiding out in Aleppo with his wife and daughter.
5. His Code Word for His Jihadi War Camps Was ‘Culinary School’
While speaking in code to fellow Jihadists on the phone during his time in the US, Abousamra referred to training camps as “Culinary School” and Peanut Butter and Jelly.”