Report: German footballer-turned-jihadist dies in Syria

Buarak Karan is said be killed by an air raid in early October

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German former professional footballer Burak Karan, who became a jihadist in Syria, was killed near the northern city of Asas last month, Der Spiegel reported Tuesday.

Burak, who was 26, died in early October in an air raid, the newspaper reported, citing the German tabloid Bild.

Burak’s brother Mustafa told Bild that he had travelled to the border region between Turkey and Syria seven months ago with his wife and two sons to help distribute aid.

Mustafa denied that his brother was fighting alongside jihadists in Syria, but a video posted on YouTube on Oct. 22 by an unknown Islamist group shows Burak posing with an assault rifle.

An investigation by the German Federal Prosecutor’s Office into Burak’s alleged Islamists links never went further than preliminary suspicion.

Burak halted his promising football career when he was 20. He started playing for Germany’s national youth team, then represented the national team.

He started his career with former teammates Sami Khedira, Dennis Aogo and Kevin Prince Boateng, who are now stars in the sport.