American passport holder Osama al-Zebda, who died fighting for Hamas, was on the U.S. terror watch list.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
One of the Hamas terrorists killed in the recent fighting in Gaza was an American citizen named Osama al-Zebda, the Foundation for Defense of Democracy’s Long War Journal revealed on Sunday.
Al-Zebda was killed by an Israeli Air Force (IAF) strike on May 12 while fighting with the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. The terror group put up an obituary notice and pictures of Al-Zebda as one of their “martyrs” on a page dedicated to terrorists who have been killed.
According to Long War Journal analyst Joe Truzman, an official confirmed that al-Zebda was on the U.S. terrorist watch list.
Al Zebda’s father, an al-Qassam commander named Jamal al-Zebda, was also killed in the airstrike.
It is unclear if Osama was born in the U.S. or was a naturalized citizen.
His father was described by the IDF’s Hebrew-language site as a senior member of the Hamas research and development division who specialized in aerodynamics and held a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, possibly from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Americans who join foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs) violate U.S. federal law.
Truzman noted that several other Americans who joined terror groups, including Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and the Taliban in Afghanistan, have also been killed or captured in recent years.
On May 12, Palestinian social media channels began circulating photos of the two al-Zebdas, describing father and son as “martyrs” who were involved in a “targeting” operation by Israel. A social media post from May 19, posted by someone claiming to be the wife of Osama, said he was an American.
In an interview on a Palestinian media network, family members said Osama was a “military man outside the house,” describing both father and son as “engineers.”
Truzman noted that the identities and killing of the two men suggest that Hamas is sending its terrorists to study in foreign institutions to bolster the terror group’s military capabilities.
In 2018, Fadi al-Batsh, a Hamas engineer studying abroad, was assassinated by the Mossad in Malaysia. Al-Batsh was allegedly helping Hamas develop rockets.
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