WASHINGTON - US government agencies were examining social media postings purporting to show how an American who was fighting with an al-Qaida affiliate blew himself up recently in a suicide attack in northern Syria, US officials said.
The officials, who declined to be identified, said US agencies assessed that the postings were likely authentic. One said some investigators believed they knew the "US person's" true identity, but declined to give further details.
According to internet postings, the suicide bomber, who called himself "Abu Hurayra al-Amriki" carried out one of four suicide bombings on May 25 in Syria's Idlib province on behalf of Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaida's affiliate fighting to oust the government of President Bashar Assad.
If his identity is confirmed, he would be the first American known to have committed a suicide bombing in Syria on behalf of al-Qaida, said Laith Alkhouri, a senior analyst with Flashpoint Global Partners, which monitors militant websites for government and private clients.
Alkhouri said social media postings, including Twitter messages and a video posted on YouTube, showed Abu Hurayra posing in a still picture with three other suicide bombers, one of whom was Syrian. The other two were foreigners.