'Jihadi Heartthrob' Killed In Attack (Photos)

| by Sheena Vasani

An airstrike in Syria has killed the Dutch jihadi heartthrob who received 10,000 marriage proposals after posing for a photo with a kitten.

The 28-year-old father, whose name is believed to be Israfil Yilmaz, reportedly died in a bombing raid on ISIS stronghold, Raqqa.

Yilmaz left the Royal Netherlands Army in 2013 to join in the fight against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

To many in the media, Yilmaz was one of the more intriguing extremists.

"Usually, by the time the public learns the names and biographies of Islamic State militants, or radicals from other groups who attack civilians, they are already dead, and so unable to speak for themselves," explains journalist Robert Mackey for The New York Times.

"[Yilmaz ] offers a fascinating glimpse into the thinking of a Western-educated jihadist who has been transformed in the past two years from a skeptic of the Islamic State to an active member," adds Mackey.

Yilmaz once hosted a Tumblr question and answer session, in which he revealed a more relatable, personal and Western-educated side.

On Tumblr he admitted to missing his mother sometimes.

“I would just eat,” he said in a separate interview when asked if he'd come home to commit a terrorist attack. "Maybe some sushi, have some Dr Pepper and give my mother a big, warm hug.”

He also defended his use of Tumblr, even though some ISIS supporters have labeled the microblogging site as "haram," or forbidden by Islam. 

“If you’re on Tumblr (or any other social media outlet) for the wrong reasons and use it to please your desires and other unlawful things of course [it's haram], but that goes for many other things," he said.

He also voiced homophobic and sexist statements that upset many, adding that gay men should be thrown off buildings while defending the rape of Yazidi girls as "spoils of war."

He also defended the Paris terrorists attacks in November 2015.

“Would I make a big deal out of it if the Islamic State declared war on Iceland and Iceland started attacking us?” he said. “Of course not. That’s life in the big city, you can’t just declare war on the Muslims (kill their women and children) and expect to be left alone even though you might reside somewhere far away. That’s something everybody understands right?”

In other Tumblr posts, Yilmaz posted the infamous photo of himself with a kitten, causing thousands to propose. He later married and had a child.

Sources: Daily Mail, New York Times / Photo credit: Nieuwsuur via Daily Mail

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