News / Middle East

US Officials Identify Syrian Suicide Bomber as American

Kent Klein
The U.S. State Department has confirmed that an American carried out the May 25 suicide bombing in Syria. It is believed to be the first time a U.S. citizen has been involved in an attack of this kind as part of the Syrian civil war.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed Friday that the man's name was Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha.

 
US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki (State Dept. video)US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki (State Dept. video)
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US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki (State Dept. video)
US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki (State Dept. video)
"I can confirm that this individual was a U.S. citizen involved in a suicide bombing in Syria," she said. "We don't have further information beyond that to share at this time."

Abu-Salha, who had lived in the U.S. state of Florida, was identified as the man who launched Sunday's truck bombing outside a restaurant where Syrian government troops gathered in the government-held northwestern city of Idlib.

Opposition forces said he was a U.S. citizen who called himself Abu Hurayra al-Amriki. The name al-Amriki means "the American."

It is not known how many people died in the bombing.

Abu-Salha was identified as having taken part in activities with the al-Qaida-linked insurgency group Nusra Front. That group and the Islamic Front's Suqour al-Sham claimed responsibility for the blast.

Psaki says it is difficult for the U.S. to measure how many foreign fighters are taking part in Syria's three-year civil war.

"We are concerned about the flow of the foreign fighters into and out of Syria," she said. "It's difficult to provide that level of analysis or a precise figure but we're engaged in a focus outreach effort with key partner governments regarding our shared concern of foreign fighters to the Syrian conflict."

Opposition rebels said Abu-Salha's truck was loaded with 16 tons of explosives, headed for the al-Fanar restaurant. It was one of four truck bombings that day in Idlib province.

At least 160,000 people have died in fighting between government forces and opposition groups trying to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power.

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by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
May 31, 2014 10:33 PM
There are lot of Africans who love this nation. America needs to come to the realization that they cannot separate themselves from Africa. We have ties to this land. Our great grand parents, our aunties, Our Uncles Brothers and Sisters came to this Nation as slaves. When we talked about America, we see the hands of the African Americans that brought development to this nation. Those that worked hard as slave to developed this nation. Those that fought for freedom of the Blacks in this nation. America and Africa are interrelated. And that is the truth. So it is time that the U.S revisit her immigration policy when it comes to Africa. The root of the African American in this nation is Africa. This is the truth and nothing but the whole truth. My kids that were born in this nation, my grand kids and great grand kids will trice their root from one man who came to this beautiful nation, and He is none other than Leroy Padmore from Liberia. Africa have ties to this nation. And if they do their DNA, it will trice them back to Liberia. you cannot separate America from Africa. America needs to look at their immigration policy when it comes to Africa. There are young and old Africans who love this nation and want to come here and live the American dream too. But instead, they give visa to the people that hate our country, hate our way of life, hate our freedom. the Africans just want to live the American dream. God Bless America

by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
May 31, 2014 7:53 PM
The U.S. needs to reexamine her immigration policy when it comes to Africa and who they allowed to become citizens. The U.S. needs to check those people carefully, before allowing them to be a resident or citizen. We need people in America that love our country and have the hearts for this nation. people with dreams that will take America to another level on the international scene. We don't need people like Abu Salha that will destroy our image on the international scene. The U.S. gives these people visa to come and destroy our country, killed our citizens, if you hate the U.S. so much, why are you here?
Mr. Salha had the opportunity to live the American dream, But he chooses to do the wrong thing. The U.S. don't need these kind of people here. Those kind of people are big embarrassment to themselves and to society. So the U.S. needs to look at her immigration policy when it comes to Africa. The African people need those opportunity to better up their lives that people like Mr. Salha is giving away. But instead the U.S. immigration policy is to hard on the African people. Even for the Africans to get visiting visa, it is very hard, But people from the Middle East, Europe, Asia,and South America, those are the ones that get visa to come and destroy our country. So the U.S. needs to look at her immigration policy for Africa, not just South America. The Africans love this country too. God Bless America

by: jose d. martinez from: hawaii
May 31, 2014 6:14 PM
so what? crazy people come from all walks of life. this nut is no different. to bad he paid with his life for his foolishness.

by: the American From Arizona from: United states of America
May 31, 2014 6:08 PM
Stupid Arab american .. He Would rather Go fight in a country that his parents most likey ran away from to give him a better future

by: EmiraAlex from: Cairo
May 31, 2014 5:05 PM
I vote NO comments from any man from India. Pulleeeze!!! No right to talk about violence!! Stop raping and murdering your own women and then you can criticize the rest of the world's men!!
In Response

by: rishabh from: India
May 31, 2014 5:19 PM
Like no rapes or killing of women happens in any other country ? specially Egypt, where foreign reporters were molested by numerous while people live on TV.

by: Boundless from: Earth
May 31, 2014 4:48 PM
So USA not only arming the terrorists but now sending their own suicide bombers to Syria

by: Michael Geoffray from: India
May 31, 2014 4:27 PM
Again, a Islam follower commits an act of peace-destruction. I simply do not understand why only Islam followers commit such heinous crimes? Whereever, whenever any terrorist event happens, you trace, there will certainly be an Islamist behind it. Why?

by: Sanjay from: India
May 31, 2014 3:43 PM
Wherever they go, they brings death.

by: nobozo from: USA
May 31, 2014 3:37 PM
Was this individual an American by birth, culturally raised as an American, that is raised since a child in one of the United States, educated and socialized as an American? Or, how are they identified as "American?" By citizenship means what, naturalized or did he have any other ties to this country through heritage and family?

by: Anonymous
May 31, 2014 2:45 PM
And there are those who want US to ramp up participation in this war. Really? How do you tell the difference between the good the bad and the ugly??
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