Ahmad Abousamra, a dual U.S.-Syrian citizen from Mansfield, Massachusetts, is reportedly involved with Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)'s media wing.
In November 2009, Abousamra was indicted on several terrorism charges. He was accused of travelling to Yemen in 2004 to attend a terrorist training camp with his childhood friend and convicted terrorist Tarek Mehanna. Mehanna was sentenced in 2012 to 17.5 years in prison while Abousamra is believed to have made multiple trips to Pakistan and Yemen to join Lashkar-e-Taiba and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and later travelled to Iraq to join what was then Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Abousamra was placed on the FBI’s most wanted terrorists list in December 2013, with a $50,000 reward offered for information leading to his capture, due to heightened concerns about “his threat to our national security,” according to the FBI in Boston. In September 2014, the FBI said, “This guy (Abousmra) is somebody that continues to concern us, and we’re not going to stop looking for him.”
While little is known about how Abdul Salam became drawn to militant Islamic ideology, court documents indicate that as far back as 2002, Abousamra discussed his “view of the religious justification for suicide bombings, the killing of civilians, and the ‘glory of dying on the battlefield for Allah.’”
According to the 2009 indictment, Abousamra, Mehanna and Daniel Maldondo, who was convicted in 2007 of receiving terrorist training in Somalia, watched jihadi videos “as a source of inspiration to personally engage in violent jihad and martyrdom.” Abousamra also allegedly contacted individuals online who have ties to terrorist organizations and looked up locations of terrorist training camps and how to travel there.
Links to Extremists
Abousamra allegedly conspired with Tarek Mehanna, Daniel Maldondo, and another unnamed individual to join foreign terrorist organizations abroad. He was also allegedly in contact with various individuals he believed had ties to terrorist organizations as part of his attempt to join training camps.
Abousamra, now 34, was born in France but is a U.S. and Syrian citizen. He lived in the Boston area for much of his life and attended courses at Northeastern University. Abousamra has a degree related to computer technology and was previously employed by a telecommunications company, according to the FBI. He is married and has at least one child, a daughter. Abousamra last left the U.S. in 2006. Also according to the FBI, he is believed to be residing in Aleppo, possibly with his wife and daughter. Abousamra has several aliases, including Ahmad Abou-Samra, Ahmad Abou, Ahmad Abou Samira, Ahmad Samra, Ahmad Abu Samra, and Ahmad Abou Samra.