A German rapper who joined Isil and seduced an FBI translator investigating him has reportedly been killed by an airstrike in Syria.
Denis Cuspert, 41, was a high-profile hip-hop artist known as Deso Dogg before turning to jihadism and becoming one of Islamic State of Iraq and the Lavant’s most notorious propaganda figures.
In one 2014 video he held a severed head while in others he encouraged Western Muslims to come to Syria to join the jihad or carry out attacks in their home countries.
Cuspert’s death has been falsely reported several times before but the SITE monitoring group said on Friday that jihadist groups had published photographs of his bloodied corpse.
He was reportedly killed by an airstrike in Deir Ezzor, a province in eastern Syria where Isil still has small pockets of control.
There was no independent confirmation of Cuspert’s death from the US-led coalition and Western security services have long warned that foreign fighters might try to fake their deaths to throw investigators off their trail.
If Cuspert is truly dead, his killing marks the end of one of Isil’s most colourful and charismatic Western jihadists.
He was born in Berlin to a Ghanaian father and a German mother and once toured with the US rapper DMX as part of a successful hip-hop career.
Cuspert converted to Islam in 2010 and was quickly radicalised. He is believed to have travelled to Syria sometime in early 2013. He became a star of Isil’s recruitment videos during the height of the so-called caliphate.
Daniela Greene, a married FBI translator fluent in German, was assigned to look into Cuspert’s case but fell in love with him from a distance. In June 2014 she snuck into Syria where she met and married Cuspert.
Greene quickly had regrets about her decision. "I was weak and didn’t know how to handle anything anymore," she wrote from Syria. "I really made a mess of things this time."
She was able to escape from Syria after a little more than a month and was arrested on returning to the US in August 2014.
Greene cooperated with US investigators and was allowed to plead guilty to a relatively minor crime of lying to investigators. She served less than two years in prison.
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