A New York City college student was killed while fighting for the Islamic State in Syria last fall, according to papers recently filed in Manhattan Federal Court. Samy Mohammed el-Goarany, 24, allegedly left Manhattan without warning family or friends in February 2015, traveling through Turkey and ultimately arriving in territory controlled by the Wahhabi extremist pseudo-state, ABC reports.

Goarany reportedly confirmed his own death in a handwritten letter that was sent to a relative via an instant message in November 2015. "If you're reading this then know that I've been killed in battle and am now with our Lord," he wrote, according to the Reading Eagle. "We will win this war one day, this war between Iman (Belief) and kufr (Disbelief) between Good and Evil," the note continued. The message was submitted as evidence in a case brought against Ahmed Mohammed Gammal, who is being charged with encouraging and facilitating Goarany's journey to join ISIS by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

According to the Daily News, Gammal was arrested in August 2015 for providing and conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. He has also been charged with aiding and abetting the receipt of military training from ISIS, and conspiring to receive training from the group. The Reading Eagle notes that neither Goarany's identity nor news of his death was revealed in the initial charges brought against Gammal. Gammal has pleaded not guilty.

Court papers filed against Gammal claim he first reached out to Goarany, who was a U.S. citizen, through a Facebook message in August 2014. The two struck up a correspondence, with Gammal traveling from Arizona to New York City to meet with the young student later that fall. It was during that time Goarany began "expressing an increased interest in militant forms of Islam," prosecutors claim, stressing the influence Gammal had over him. The two reportedly also spoke via at least one encrypted messaging program.

Gammal's trial is set to begin December 5th, and could hinge upon a YouTube video published by Goarany, in which he denies receiving any outside help during his journey from New York City to ISIS territory. Daily Intelligencer reports the video was published a month after Gammal's arrest, and features Goarany stressing he arrived in Syria via his own means, and wasn't influenced by Gammal.

"I didn't come to this decision with anybody's influence or anybody's recruitment," Goarany said in the clip. "And nobody helped me along the way to get here, including Ahmed Mohammed el Gammal, in America. And I'm making this video just to let the authorities know this. This is my statement, and use it however you wish." However, prosecutors allege the video's attempted exoneration of Goarany only confirms his involvement.

Defense attorneys for Gammal have argued in a filing that Goarany's handwritten letter confirming his own death cannot be authenticated and thus should not be shown to the jury, and also argue the video upload may amount to hearsay. In May, Bharara's office charged 22-year-old Bronx resident Sajmir Alimehmeti with attempting to help an undercover law enforcement agent travel to Syria to join ISIS, shortly after a group of five other NYC residents were arrested for conspiracy to provide material support to the militant group.