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Islamic State Fighter From Virginia Taken Into Custody

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A destroyed building with a wall painted with the black flag commonly used by Islamic State militants, is seen in the town of al-Alam March 10, 2015. Reuters

An Islamic State fighter from the United States was taken into custody in northern Iraq after emerging from territory controlled by the militant group in Syria, media reports said on Monday.

CBS News, citing two sources with the Kurdish peshmerga military force, said the apparent American defector was trying to return to Turkey. He was identified as Muhammad Jamal Amin, 27, of Virginia, it said, citing Kurdish news organizations.

The Pentagon said it could not immediately confirm the incident. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad also could not confirm it, CBS said.

CNN, which also reported the incident, said the fighter was captured near Sinjar and handed over to Kurdish authorities in the region.

Peshmerga forces initially fired warning shots when they saw the man on concerns he was a suicide bomber, but he identified himself as a former member of Islamic State who wanted to turn himself in, according to CBS.

Amin, whose father is from Palestine and mother from Iraq, had fought with the militants for a couple of months, it said, citing Kurdish reports.

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