A prominent German ISIS propagandist was killed by a U.S. strike while he was traveling in a vehicle in Syria earlier this month, a U.S. official told CNN.
The ISIS recruit Denis Cuspert, also known as Abu Talha al-Almani, had once gone by the name "Deso Dogg" in the Berlin rap scene.
He traveled to fight Jihad in Syria after converting to Islam and becoming involved with Millatu Ibrahim, a pro-Jihadi group in Germany founded by Mohamed Mahmoud, an Austrian jihadi who has also taken on a prominent propaganda role for ISIS in Syria.
A message posted on the Facebook page of a Raqqa resident on October 17 claimed Cuspert was killed in a pickup truck the day before by missiles fired by two coalition planes near a gas station in Hunaida on the road between Raqqa and al-Tabqa, according to Florian Flade, a German terrorism expert who has tracked Cuspert.
Cuspert would have turned 40 two days later.
Cuspert was named as a specially designated global terrorist by the State Department in February. The designation alleged he joined ISIS, also known as ISIL, in 2012 and had appeared in numerous videos on its behalf, including one in which he appeared holding a severed head.
"He appeared to serve as an ISIL recruiter with special emphasis on recruiting German speakers to ISIL," the designation said.
A German rapper who joined the Islamic State group and publicly threatened President Barack Obama has been killed in a US air strike in Syria, according to the Pentagon.
Denis Cuspert, who called himself Deso Dogg, used to rap in Berlin before becoming one of the westerners who have gone to fight for Isis.
“I can confirm that an October 16 strike near Raqa killed Denis Cuspert,” said US defence department spokeswoman Elissa Smith.
Cuspert joined Isis in 2012 and went on to appear in numerous videos from the militant group, including one in November 2014 “in which he appears holding a severed head he claims belongs to a man executed for opposing Isil”, the State Department had previously said.
Another defence official said Cuspert “was not considered a high-value target [and] we were not specifically targeting him”. He noted that other Isis jihadists may have been hit.
Jihadist sources in April 2014 said Cuspert had been killed in Syria but they later retracted the claim. Cuspert, who later went by Abu Talha al-Almani, was listed as an al-Qaida supporter by the United Nations.
Cuspert was said to have pledged an oath of loyalty to Isis group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and was a chief recruiter of German fighters.
According to Smith, Cuspert threatened Obama and US and German citizens, and also encouraged western Muslims to carry out attacks in the name of Islamic State.
“Cuspert was a foreign terrorist fighter and operative for Isil who used social media to take advantage of disaffected youth and potential western recruits,” Smith said.
Isis prohibits music but singing is allowed and some of the jihadists’ grisly videos are set to a vocal soundtrack.