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State Department says U.S. citizen was suicide bomber in Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department on Friday confirmed that an American citizen had carried out a suicide bombing in Syria. "The American citizen involved in the suicide bombing in Syria is believed to be Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

The New York Times, which first reported the suicide bomber's name, said he grew up in Florida and traveled to Syria last year.

A U.S. security official said U.S. agencies were aware before the suicide bombing that the American had traveled to Syria to join militants. The official declined to give further details.

The official said that unlike some other foreign fighters in Syria, the American suicide bomber was not known to have posted messages on Twitter or other social media websites.

The bomber, who used the nom de guerre Abu Hurayra al-Amriki, carried out one of four suicide bombings on May 25 in Syria's Idlib province on behalf of Jabhat al-Nusra, al Qaeda's affiliate fighting to oust the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

(Writing and reporting by Doina Chiacu and Mark Hosenball; Editing by James Dalgleish, Grant McCool and Mohammad Zargham)

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