Defense Dept: US airstrike 2 weeks ago in Syria killed onetime German rapper turned terrorist

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WASHINGTON — Defense officials said fRiday a U.S. airstrike in Syria two weeks ago killed a onetime German rapper described by authorities as a "foreign terrorist fighter" who had publicly threatened President Barack Obama.

Denis Cuspert was designated a global terrorist this year by the State Department. Defense Department spokesman Maj. James Brindle says Cuspert was killed during an Oct. 16 airstrike near Raqqah.

Brindle said Cuspert was a foreign terrorist fighter and operative for the Islamic State who used social media to take advantage of disaffected youth and potential Western recruits. Brindle says he publicly threatened the Obama and German citizens and also encouraged western Muslims to conduct attacks on behalf of the Islamic State.

Cuspert used the stage name Deso Dogg and ended his rap career after converting to Islam.

Tobias Plate, a spokesman for Germany's Interior Ministry, which monitors suspected extremists, told journalists: "The person you mentioned has been reported dead so many times in the past that, as with previous reports of his death, we can neither confirm nor deny it this time again."

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