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Denis Cuspert

Born: 18 October 1975;

Place of Birth: Kreuzberg, West Berlin, Germany;

Birth name: Denis Mamadou Gerhard Cuspert;

Nationality: German; alt. Ghanaian;

Occupation: Rapper; ISIL member.


Cuspert ended his rap career in 2010, converted to Islam and took the kunya Abou Maleeq. He left Germany in 2012 for Egypt and eventually Syria, where he fought with jihadist anti-government forces in the Syrian Civil War, under the nom de guerre of Abu Talha Al-Almani (meaning Abu Talha the German). He spent time in jail for various offenses.

Denis also known by his stage name Deso Dogg, joined ISIL in 2012 and has appeared in numerous videos on its behalf. In one video he appears holding a severed head he claims belongs to a man executed for opposing ISIL.

Now he is calling himself Abu Talha al-Almani, and has pledged an oath of loyalty to ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and appears to serve as an ISIL recruiter with special emphasis on recruiting German speakers to ISIL.

He is emblematic of the type of foreign recruit ISIL seeks for its ranks – individuals who have engaged in criminal activity in their home countries who then travel to Iraq and Syria to commit far worse crimes against the people of those countries.

Foreign terrorist fighters are reported to have played significant roles in some of ISIL’s most egregious crimes, including the massacres of the Sh’aitat tribe in Syria and the Albu Nimr tribe in Iraq, as well as the almost daily public executions in Raqqa.

Cuspert has been a willing pitchman for ISIL atrocities, and is also wanted by the German government on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activities in his home country.

Abou Maleeq also appeared in an ISIS propaganda video depicting the aftermath of a July 2014 ISIS attack on the Al-Shaar gas field in Syria alongside Fared Saal.

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