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German rapper who joined ISIL killed in air strike in Syria

Denis Cuspert, also known by his artist name Deso Dogg, used to rap in Berlin and was one of the most infamous Western fighters for the extremist group.
Denis Cuspert, the German ex-rapper, left, was killed in a US air strike in Syria on October 16. Facebook / DAPD
Denis Cuspert, the German ex-rapper, left, was killed in a US air strike in Syria on October 16. Facebook / DAPD

WASHINGTON // A German rapper who joined ISIL and publicly threatened President Barack Obama was killed in a US air strike in Syria, a defence official said Thursday.

Denis Cuspert, also known by his artist name Deso Dogg, used to rap in Berlin and was one of the most infamous Western fighters for the extremist group.

“I can confirm that an October 16 strike near Raqa killed Denis Cuspert,” US Defence Department spokeswoman Elissa Smith said.

Cuspert joined ISIL in 2012 and went on to appear in numerous videos from the militant group, including one in November last year “in which he appears holding a severed head he claims belongs to a man executed for opposing ISIL,” the State Department previously said.

Cuspert had pledged an oath of loyalty to ISIL group leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi and was a chief recruiter of German fighters.

According to Ms Smith, Cuspert threatened Obama and US and German citizens, and had also encouraged Western Muslims to carry out ISIL-inspired attacks.

“Cuspert was a foreign terrorist fighter and operative for ISIL who used social media to take advantage of disaffected youth and potential Western recruits,” she said.

Cuspert, who later went by Abu Talha Al Almani, was listed as an Al-Qaeda supporter by the United Nations.

* Agence France-Presse

Updated: October 30, 2015 04:00 AM

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