French jihadist Drugeon likely killed in Syria: US official

11th September 2015, Comments 0 comments

French jihadist David Drugeon was likely killed in a coalition strike in Syria in July, a US official said Friday.

Drugeon, an alleged bombmaker, has been described as a key figure in the Al-Qaeda offshoot Khorasan group, which American officials say is a dangerous militant outfit planning to attack the United States and other Western countries.

US officials previously thought Drugeon was killed in a November 2014 drone strike, but the claim was later disproved.

"There are very good chances that we did get him in a strike in July in Syria," a US official told AFP on Friday.

According to the official, Drugeon was a "very key technical member" of the Khorasan group and was an expert at making "non-metallic Improvised Explosive Devices" -- the military term for homemade bombs.

"Khorasan is a very dangerous organization which uses cutting-edge technology for (preparing) attacks in the West," the official said.

Drugeon's death was also announced on Twitter by a Saudi jihadist, who mentioned a strike near Aleppo.

A football fan in his early years, Drugeon later drew close to ultraconservative Salafist Muslims, converted to Islam, started learning Arabic and studying the Koran.

He eventually went to Egypt and studied in religious schools there. Drugeon, who was 24 or 25, returned to France and at the start of 2010 told his family he was going back to Egypt.

Like many other international volunteers, however, he went down the jihad route and traveled to tribal zones in Pakistan, never to be seen by his relatives again.

© 2015 AFP

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