U.S.: Italian rapper is a terrorist for fighting for ISIS

A man believed to be Moroccan-Italian rapper Anas el-Abboubi in a jihadist video.
A man believed to be Moroccan-Italian rapper Anas el-Abboubi in a jihadist video.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration imposed sanctions Wednesday on an Italian rapper who moved to Syria to join the Islamic State group.

Anas el-Abboubi was added to the State Department's list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists, because he "poses a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism," the department said in a statement.

El-Abboubi — known in Italy by his stage name, Mc Khalif — was taken into police custody in Italy in 2013 for plotting an attack in northern Italy and recruiting individuals for militant activity in Syria. He was released after two weeks in custody and later fled to Syria via Albania.

The department said he is among about 50 foreign fighters of Italian origin currently fighting in Syria.

Born in Morocco in 1992, el-Abboubi immigrated to Italy at age 7. In March 2012, he was profiled in an MTV special called, "In the rhythm of Allah: the story of Mc Khalif," in which he talked about his life and role as a Muslim-Italian artist.

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