Kurdish forces: Two American ISIS fighters captured in Syria
“Kurdish-led forces battling Islamic State militants in Syria say they captured five foreign fighters, including an American who once sought to become an English teacher in the jihadi group’s Iraqi capital. The American, a Texan named Warren Christopher Clark, 34, was one of two reputed U.S. citizens captured in a counterterrorism raid near the Iraqi border, where U.S.-backed forces are continuing to battle a pocket of the terrorists, the Syrian Democratic Forces said in a release on Sunday. Clark, who has one glass eye, had sought a nonmilitary role with the group, according to researchers with George Washington University’s Program on Extremism who, in a February report, named him as one of at least 64 Americans from 16 states who had traveled to Iraq and Syria since 2011 to join jihadi groups, mainly ISIS. Under the alias Abu Muhammad al-Ameriki, Clark had submitted an application seeking to join ISIS as an English teacher in Mosul, which had served as the Iraqi capital of ISIS’s physical caliphate from summer 2014 until it was liberated by U.S.-backed and trained Iraqi forces in summer 2017.
Using the application’s resume and sources in Texas, researchers identified Clark as a University of Houston graduate who had converted to Islam in 2004 and was radicalized after viewing jihadist videos online, NBC News reported earlier this year. He had worked as a substitute teacher in Texas before traveling to Saudi Arabia to teach English for two years and then going to Turkey. Some 300 Americans tried to leave or did leave the U.S. to fight in Iraq or Syria since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the report said, citing the FBI. Of the 64 who were named, the whereabouts or status of 28 were publicly unknown, more than 20 were believed to have died overseas, 12 were apprehended and three had returned to the U.S. without facing charges.”