A 2010 Atlantic City High School graduate who grew up in Margate has been identified as an Islamic State commander who allegedly has beheaded captured Kurdish soldiers, The Atlantic reports.
Citing federal court documents, the Atlantic said Zulfi Hoxha, 25, joined ISIS in Islamic State controlled Syrian territory four days after leaving the United States on April 6. 2015.
Hoxha’s family operated Pierre’s Pizza parlor in Margate for 20 years.
The current owner of Pierre’s Pizza said spreading word of Hoxha’s reported ties to ISIS is hurting his business, the Press of Atlantic City reports.
“I have a family to feed, and this has hurt me a ton because now people think I am connected to ISIS,” Richie Hafizi said. “We’ve gotten calls from people asking for pizza with a head on top of it and other crazy calls.”
The Atlantic, citing multiple unidentified law-enforcement officials, said there is a 15-minute video showing an individual who has been identified by voice as Hoxha beheading captured Kurdish soldiers. Until now, no other American has been identified as member of ISIS to behead a prisoner on an ISIS propaganda video.
Hoxha is now known as Abu Hamza al-Amriki and has appeared on ISIS videos with a long beard, dressed in combat gear and carrying weapons. al-Amriki is Arabic for “the American.”
NBC10 quoted his mother as saying she last spoke to her son a year ago.
“I am upset,” she said.
The Atlantic did not identify the U.S. District Court where the court records have been filed.
Hoxha’s current fate is not known. The New York Times has reported the U.S. forces in Iraq are holding an American ISIS suspect whose name has not been released. Last month, a federal judge in the District of Columbia ruled the prisoner has a right to legal representation.