2 Americans Said to Have Joined ISIS Caught on the Front Lines in Syria – The New York Times

Center East|2 People Stated to Have Joined ISIS Caught on the Entrance Strains in Syria
Opponents for the Syrian Democratic Forces in Hajin, Syria, final month. The militia said it captured two People all over an operation focused on the Islamic Voice’s final pocket of regulate in northern Syria.CreditCreditDelil Souleiman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Shots

A 34-yr-outdated man from Houston who despatched a résumé and duvet letter looking out for a job contained within the Islamic Voice used to be captured alive on the battlefield alongside one other American struggling with for the terrorist community, in accordance to the Syrian Democratic Forces, who launched the arrest on Sunday.

The two People reported captured, Warren Christopher Clark and Zaid Abed al-Hamid, had been seized alongside diversified foreign fighters, including electorate of Eire and Pakistan. They had been taken all over an operation focused on the Islamic Voice’s final pocket of regulate in northern Syria, in accordance to an announcement issued by the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish-led and American-supported militia that is struggling with to take assist territory from ISIS.

Handiest four diversified People are known to gain been captured alive on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria, in accordance to a database maintained by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism. In the same kind puny is the sequence of People who gain returned to the USA after joining the terrorist community.

Extraditions to the USA of Mr. Clark and Mr. al-Hamid, whose surname used to be moreover spelled al-Hamed, would plot them only the Fifteenth and Sixteenth American adults to arrangement from joining ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

“The amount is minuscule,” said Seamus Hughes, the deputy director of the program at George Washington. “To set apart it in context, the Brits are speaking a few total bunch of returnees.”

Amongst the paperwork left at the assist of in a dwelling that had been occupied by ISIS in Mosul, Iraq, had been Mr. Clark’s résumé and a duvet letter, which begins: “Expensive Director, I am attempting to win a situation educating English to college students within the Islamic Voice.”

“I deem that a a success teacher can notice a pupil’s strengths and weaknesses,” it continues, “and is able to make exhaust of that knowing to abet college students assemble on their knowing of the English language.”

The letter and accompanying résumé, which gain been authenticated by Mr. Hughes, demonstrate the recruit’s naïveté and underscore that he used to be drawn to the Islamic Voice’s promise of building a Muslim-only teach.

His résumé means that he obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and that he served as an different teacher within the Fort Bend Self sustaining College District in Sugar Land, Tex., for bigger than two years. He later moved to Saudi Arabia to educate English after which taught English for three months in Turkey. His résumé ends in June 2015, indicating that he doubtlessly joined ISIS after that.

Cramped is known about the American said to be captured alongside Mr. Clark, previous his age, 35. The Syrian Democratic Forces didn’t originate where he is from within the USA.

A similarly spelled title — Zaid Abdul-Hamid — appears to be like in a cache of ISIS registration kinds indicating that he equipped a reference for a recruit from Trinidad and Tobago when that recruit joined the community in 2014. The identical like means that Mr. Abdul-Hamid used to be in Raqqa, Syria, at the time that he acted because the reference.

Col. Scott Rawlinson, a spokesman for the American-led defense force coalition in Baghdad, said in an e-mail that the coalition used to be “attentive to open provide stories of reportedly American electorate at this time in custody believed to be struggling with for ISIS.”

“Nonetheless, we’re unable to substantiate this recordsdata today,” he added. “The incident is below investigation.”

Closing month, President Trump’s announcement that the USA would withdraw its forces stationed in Syria precipitated the resignation of his defense secretary and accelerated the resignation of the White Home’s senior envoy to the fight against ISIS. Both Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the senior presidential envoy, Brett McGurk, said that the surprising withdrawal amounted to abandoning America’s allies within the situation, especially the Syrian Democratic Forces.

In contemporary days, White Home officers gain softened Mr. Trump’s stance, announcing that the withdrawal won’t happen correct away and that this would maybe simply even be completed in a coordinated manner. On Sunday, the president’s nationwide security adviser, John Bolton, looked to reverse direction, telling journalists in Jerusalem that the pullout used to be conditional on defeating the final remnants of ISIS and on Turkey’s making sure the security of America’s Kurdish allies.

Per a few separate stories, including an review by the Pentagon’s inspector overall, ISIS level-headed maintains a force of 20,000 to 30,000 participants in Iraq and Syria.

The final time the community used to be declared defeated in 2010, the C.I.A. estimated that it used to be all of the manner down to factual 700 fighters.

Eric Schmitt and Karam Shoumali contributed reporting.

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