American IS militant 'surrenders' to Kurds in Iraq
Peshmerga forces initially fired warning shots when they saw the man due to fears he may have been a suicide bomber, but he identified himself as a former member of ISIL who wanted to turn himself in, CBS reproted.
The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, when pressed for comment, told CBS News that it could neither confirm nor deny the detention of any American citizens in the region.
Amin was being held by the peshmerga troops for interrogation, Helkani said.
It was unclear why the man - who was carrying a US passport, according to the official - was in ISIS territory, or exactly where he was taken into custody.
The Kurdish forces are considered key allies in the fight against ISIS.
CBS and Kurdish news sources identified the militant as Muhammad Jamal Amin, a 27-year-old from Virginia, of Palestinian-Iraqi hertitage.
The circumstances of the surrender were not fully disclosed but it marked a rare instance in which an IS fighter voluntarily gave himself up to Iraqi or Kurdish forces in Iraq. "He's a grown man, just like you", he told a reporter. "We have no further information to share at this time", the official said. Intelligence officials, however, have noted to the news outlet that roughly 12 citizens have left the United States to seek an alliance with ISIS forces in both Iraq and Syria.
Add this to the file on Turkish complicity with the Islamic State and the picture starts to look clear. An earlier estimate by the International Center for the Study of Radicalization, a think tank at King's College London, said IS fighters include 3,300 Western Europeans and 100 or so Americans.