Washington (dpa) – The United States Monday declared German rapper Denis Cuspert (EPA pic) a terrorist threat, describing him a foreign fighter and operative recruiting Germans for the Islamic State militant group.
The most recent appearance of Cuspert – who rapped under the alias Deso Dogg – was in a video released in early November, the US State Department said.
“He appears holding a severed head he claims belongs to a man executed for opposing [Islamic State],” the State Department said.
Cuspert, 39, now calls himself Abu Talha al-Almani.
The State Department said Cuspert has pledged loyalty to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and “appears” to work as a recruiter targeting German speakers.
“Cuspert has been a willing pitchman for [Islamic State] atrocities,” the State Department said.
He is wanted by German authorities for terrorist activities in his own country, and the United Nations al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee lists him as a danger.
The US designation will freeze any assets held by Cuspert and ban his travel.
The November video depicts three corpses, including the fatal shooting of one man and the beheading of another.
Cuspert says in German that the dead were opponents of Islamic State forces, according to reporting about the video in November.
“That’s why they received the death penalty,” he says.
Another radical militant says in Arabic that the dead were members of Syria’s al-Shaitat tribe.
In the past, the US State Department used Cuspert in its internet war against Islamic State recruiters as an example of what happens when young people flock from around the world to the extremist group.