Pentagon Reverses Claims, Says Rapper-Jihadist Deso Dogg Survived U.S. Airstrike

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A picture taken on May 5, 2012 shows former German rapper Denis Cuspert (C) among salafi in Bonn, Germany. (Henning Kaiser/AFP/Getty Images)

Denis Cuspert, the German-born former rapper known as Deso Dogg and an ISIS recruiter, was declared dead by U.S. officials after an airstrike in October. The claim was disputed and after a profile of Cuspert in The Fader last month, the Pentagon reversed its statement, saying the jihadist survived.

Cuspert’s story offers a window into the work and effect of extremist propaganda, as well as the rise of foreign fighters traveling to Syria.

Here & Now‘s Eric Westervelt explores that story with Amos Barshad of The Fader, who traveled to Berlin to learn more about the young rapper’s transition to radicalism.


Amos Barshad, contributor to The Fader. He tweets @AmosBarshad.

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