A former German rapper who became a recruiter, fighter and propagandist for the Islamic State terror group has reportedly been killed in fighting in Syria.
The pro-IS Al-Wafa media group announced the death of Denis Cuspert, who also went by the name Deso Dogg, on Thursday and posted graphic photos of his corpse, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
Al-Wafa said Cuspert had died in an airstrike during a battle in Gharanij in Syria’s Deir el-Zour governorate, but that he had killed 10 enemy fighters before he died. The announcement also praised him for continuing to fight despite having suffered numerous injuries over the past few years.
U.S. officials have not yet been able to confirm Cuspert’s death but said neither the U.S. nor the international anti-IS coalition had conducted any airstrikes in the area.
The Berlin-born Cuspert joined IS in 2012 and appeared in numerous propaganda videos for the terror group, using the name Abu Talha al-Almani. In one video, he held the severed head of a man he claimed to have executed for opposing IS.
The United States labeled Cuspert a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in 2015, saying he was both an IS recruiter and a “willing pitchman” for the group’s atrocities.
In October 2015, the U.S. coalition targeted Cuspert in an airstrike in Syria, initially assessing that he had been killed. But military officials later determined he had survived.
CNN reported Cuspert also had married a translator for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Daniela Greene, who was sent to investigate him in 2014.
CNN said that the couple married in June 2014, but that Greene fled back to the United States weeks later, eventually pleaded guilty to terror-related charges and was sentenced to two years in prison.