US Crosses German Rapper Off Its List After Airstrike

Terrorist Denis Cuspert, aka Deso Dogg, killed in Syria: State Dept.
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2015 9:36 AM CDT

Deso Dogg, the German rapper who joined ISIS and threatened President Obama, won't be freestyling on the Syrian front anymore, the AP reports. "I can confirm that an October 16 strike near [Raqqa] killed Denis Cuspert," Defense Department Elissa Smith says, per the AFP, using the rapper's given name. Per a German terrorism tracker, Cuspert—deemed a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" in February by the State Department—was reportedly traveling in a pickup truck on a road between Raqqa and al-Tabqa when his vehicle was slammed by missiles from two coalition aircraft, CNN reports. Despite his menacing-sounding State Department designation, Cuspert—who was just days shy of his 40th birthday, the network notes—wasn't considered by the DoD to be a "high-value target," per the AFP.

But he was one of the most high-profile ones. After joining ISIS in 2012, he went on to appear in several of the group's videos, including one in which he held the severed head of an alleged ISIS enemy, as well as another cited by the Washington Post in which he splashes in a stream and yells, "Jihad is a lot of fun!" During his stint with the group, he threatened not only Obama, but also US and German citizens. Germany had been keeping its eye on Cuspert, with intelligence officials compiling a 25-page report that went into how he had likely been radicalized by Germany's ultraconservative Salafists, turning into what the report labels "a well-known German-speaking demagogue of the armed Jihad," NBC News reports. (Read more about Cuspert's background at the Washington Post.)

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