Islamic State Fighter From U.S. Reportedly In Custody In Iraq

03/14/2016 07:34 am ET | Updated Mar 14, 2016
An American fighting for the self-styled Islamic State is reportedly in custody in northern Iraq. A vehicle passes the flag of the self-styled Islamic State in Rawah, Iraq.

WASHINGTON/ERBIL, Iraq March 14 (Reuters) - An American fighting for Islamic State was taken into custody in northern Iraq after he left territory controlled by the militant group, according to a Kurdish general who was present and spoke to him.

General Hashim Sitei said the fighter did not have a passport but was carrying an American driving license, images of which identify him as Muhammad Jamal Amin, 27, from Virginia.

Amin was intending to escape to Turkey but handed himself over to Kurdish forces after they opened fire on him around dawn near the frontline in Golat village, according to the general, who said the fighter spoke English and broken Arabic.

"He said the situation with ISIS is not good," Hashim said, noting that the fighter appeared tired. "We gave him food and treated him with respect and handed him over to military intelligence."

The bearded fighter was unarmed but carried three mobile phones and said his father was Palestinian and his mother was from the Mosul area in Iraq.

The State Department said it was aware of the reports that a U.S. citizen said to have been fighting for Islamic State was captured by Kurdish peshmerga forces in northern Iraq.

"We are in touch with Iraqi and Kurdish authorities to determine the veracity of these reports," a State Department official in Washington said on the customary condition of anonymity.

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