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  • Warren Christopher Clark, a former substitute teacher from Texas, (L) and Zaid Abed al-Hamid, 35 (alias Abu Zaid al-Ameriki), were captured in a counter terrorism mission Saturday.

    Warren Christopher Clark, a former substitute teacher from Texas, (L) and Zaid Abed al-Hamid, 35 (alias Abu Zaid al-Ameriki), were captured in a counter terrorism mission Saturday. | Photo: Syrian Democratic Forces

Published 6 January 2019

Two U.S. citizens were among five foreign fighters captured by Kurdish military forces.

A pair of U.S. citizens are being detained by Kurdish military after attempting to aid the Islamic State militants to perpetrate an attack against refugees in Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said in a statement.

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“A group of terrorists who had been preparing to attack the civilians who were trying to get out of the war zone in masses was detected,” said a SDF spokesman.

“Following long-term technical and physical follow-up, an operation against the cell was carried out by our forces. As a result of the operation, five terrorists originally from the United States, Ireland and Pakistan were captured,” the officials said.

Among the detainees was Warren Christopher Clark, a former substitute teacher from Texas, who joined the jihadist group with the intention of working as an English teacher in the organization’s capital in Iraq.

Little is know about the second American, Zaid Abed al-Hamid, 35 (alias Abu Zaid al-Ameriki), however, the pair are among 300 U.S. citizens to join or attempt to join the rogue terrorist group in Iraq or Syria since the latter’s civil war began in 2011, a February report Program on Extremism said.

Army Col. Scott Rawlinson told U.S. military publications,“The incident is under investigation.”

U.S. officials have not confirmed when or how the pair will be extradited and when approached by reporters Sunday, Attorney Ruan K. Patrick refused to comment.

The two men will be the 15 and 16 citizens to return home with pending federal charges for supporting ISIS, said  Seamus Hughes, a counterterrorism expert with the Program on Extremism.

“The number is minuscule. To put it in context, the Brits are talking about hundreds of returnees,” Hughes said.

“We’re going to see more Americans like Clark returning home to face the consequences of their choices. With his time within the terrorist group, he should have a wealth of information that would be interesting for law enforcement and intelligence officials,” said Hughes.

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