A Somali-American from Minneapolis has been killed while fighting alongside terrorists in the besieged Syrian town of Kobane, according to a report tweeted Sunday by an FBI fugitive who is also affiliated with terror groups.
The identity of the dead man has not been confirmed.
FBI officials in the Twin Cities are aware of the report, but were "not in a position to confirm any of the details," agent Kyle Loven said.
The fugitive who tweeted the report, Mohamed Abdullah Hassan, nicknamed "Miski," is also from Minnesota. He is believed by federal authorities to be in Somalia fighting for the Al-Shabab terrorist group, which is linked to Al-Qaida.
On Sunday, Hassan tweeted: "The bro who got Shahadah [bears witness] in Kobane is Yusef from Minneaplis, Minnesota. His brother is Ahmed Bashi he's with me."
If the report is accurate, this would be the third Minnesotan killed this year fighting in Syria or Iraq for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This summer, two men formerly from the Twin Cities area, Douglas McCain and Abdiraaman Muhmad, were reported killed while fighting for ISIL.
Two leaders from Minneapolis' Somali community reached Monday said they did not know the identity of the man who was reported killed. Both men, who asked not to be named, said they knew no details in connection with the report.
Hassan, who fled Minnesota in summer 2008 to fight in Somalia, is among nine Somali-Americans who are on the FBI's most-wanted list of Minnesota fugitives who have been indicted on a charge of providing support to the Somali-based terror group. He is among a wave of about 11 Somali-American men who fled the state in 2008 after being recruited to fight overseas.
Since last spring, a federal grand jury in Minneapolis has been hearing testimony from Somali-Americans with information about efforts to recruit them for terrorist activity overseas.
Five weeks ago, two young men from the Twin Cities area were charged with conspiracy to support ISIL. One of them, Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, of Inver Grove Heights, was picked up at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport by FBI agents in May while attempting to fly to Turkey via Moscow and is now in custody. His partner, Abdi Nur, 20, of Minneapolis, managed to board a flight for Turkey the day after Yusef's arrest and is believed to be fighting with ISIL.
Since late summer, there has been intense fighting in and around the predominately Kurdish town of Kobane, just a few kilometers from Syria's border with Turkey. ISIL forces have managed to take control of about 50 percent of the town, but in recent weeks, Iraqi Kurds, with the support of western air cover, have launched a counteroffensive in an effort to recapture the town.