US-backed forces in Syria just captured a substitute teacher from Texas who had sent his resume to ISIS

A fighter from the SDF carrying weapons as he looks toward the northern town of Tabqa, Syria.A fighter from the SDF carrying weapons as he looks toward the northern town of Tabqa, Syria.Syrian Democratic Forces, via AP, File

  • A US-backed Kurdish militia captured five foreign Islamic State fighters on Sunday, including two men identified as Americans.
  • One of them is Warren Christopher Clark, a 34-year-old former substitute teacher from Houston, Texas.
  • Documents obtained in a house in Mosul, Iraq include a resume and cover letter, reportedly sent by Clark, to apply for a job teaching English in the Islamic State.
  • US officials did not confirm the SDF report by Tuesday morning.
  • To date, only four Americans have been captured during battle in Iraq and Syria.

During an operation aimed at eliminating ISIS's last stronghold in Syria, a US-backed militia captured five foreign fighters including a school teacher from Texas who once sent his resume and a cover letter to the caliphate.

"Dear Director, I am looking to get a position teaching English to students in the Islamic State," the letter reads.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish fighting group backed by the US, announced Sunday that its fighters had captured Warren Christopher Clark, a 34-year-old from Houston. The New York Times obtained documents found in a house in Mosul, Iraq - including a resume and cover letter - that Clark reportedly sent to apply for a job teaching English in the caliphate.

Warren Christopher ClarkA photo released by the Syrian Defense Forces reportedly shows Warren Christopher Clark after his capture in Syria.Syrian Defense Force

The letter, which was verified by Seamus Hughes of George Washington University's Program on Extremism, and bears the signature "Abu Mohammed," said to be a pseudonym, according to the Times. A resume accompanying the letter ends in 2015, which may indicate when Clark began working for the Islamic State. The documents obtained in Mosul show that before landing in Syria, the University of Houston graduate spent time teaching in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, according to the Times.

The SDF identified a second man as American, but the Times reported that Zaid Abed al-Hamid is more likely from Trinidad.

To date, only four Americans have been captured in battle in Iraq and Syria, according to George Washington University experts. According to the Times, US officials have not yet confirmed the SDF's report.

If Clark and Hamid are returned to the US, they will join a small number of former ISIS militants extradited - according to GWU's database, of 72 identified Americans who have traveled to join the caliphate, 14 have been returned to face charges.

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