BREAKING NEWS: Islamic State Militant Known As ‘Jihadi John’ Identified

BREAKING NEWS: Islamic State Militant Known As ‘Jihadi John’ Identified

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Numerous news outlets are reporting that the notorious Islamic State militant known as ‘Jihadi John,’ — who has appeared in numerous beheading videos — has been unmasked and his identity is now known by British authorities. The British citizen’s name is Mohammad Emwazi, of London. Jemny Gross, and Bryan-Low, writing on today’s (Feb. 26, 2015) Wall Street Journal website, that Mr. Emwazi “sprang to notoriety after he appeared in a video released by the Islamic State last August, in which he purportedly killed U.S. journalist James Foley. Wearing what was to become his signature black robe, and black balaclava covering all but his eyes; and, the bridge of his nose, his identity remained concealed — although he spoke with a British accent, British media immediately dubbed him, ‘Jihadi John.'”

According to the Washington Post, Mr Emwazi, “is a British citizen, from a well-to-do family, who grew up in West London; and, graduated from college with a degree in computer programming.” The paper adds that Mr. Emwazi “is believed to have traveled to Syria in 2012; and, later joined the Islamic State, the group whose barbarity he has come to symbolize.” “The Kuwaiti-born Emwazi, in his mid-20s, appears to have left little trail on social media, or elsewhere online. According to the Washington Post, Mr. Emwazi’s friends, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, “believe that Emwazi started to radicalize after a planned safari in Tanzania, after his graduation from the University of Westminster. Emwazi and two friends — a German convert to Islam named Omar, and another man, Abu Talib — never made it on the trip. Once they landed in Dar es Salaam, in May 2009, they were detained by police and held overnight. It’s unclear whether the reason for the detention was made clear to the three, but they were eventually deported,” the Post noted. “Emwazi flew to Amsterdam, where he claimed that an officer from MI5, Britain’s domestic security agency, accused him of trying to reach Somalia, where the al-Qaeda-linked group al Shabaab operates in the southern part of the country,” according to emails that he sent to Qureshi; and, that were provided to the Post.” Emwazi denied accusation and claimed that MI5 representatives had tried to recruit him. But, a former hostage said Jihadi John was obsessed with Somalia; and, made his captives watch videos about al-Shabaab,which is allied with al-Qaeda.”

“Emwazi and his friends were allowed to return to Britain, where he met with Qureshi in the fall of 2009 to discuss what had happened. Mohammad was quite incensed by his treatment, that he had been unfairly treated,” Qureshi said. “Shortly afterward, Emwazi decided to move to his birthplace, Kuwait, where he landed a job working for a computer company, according to the emails he wrote to Qureshi. Mr. Emwazi came back to London twice, the second time to finalize his wedding plans to a woman in Kuwait. In June 2010, however, counter-terrorism officials in Britain detained him again — this time fingerprinting him, and searching his belongings. When he attempted to fly back to Kuwait the next day, he was prevented from doing so.” “I had a job waiting for me, and a marriage to get started,” he wrote in a June 2010 email to Qureshi. But now, “I feel like a prisoner, only not in a cage, in London. A person imprisoned and controlled by security service men, stopping me from living my new life — in my birthplace and country….Kuwait.”

“I have no doubt that Mohammad is Jihadi John,” said one of Emwazi’s close friends, who identified him in an interview with the Washington Post. “He was like a brother to me….I am sure it is him.” A representative of a British human rights group — who had been in contact with Mr. Emwazi before he left for Syria, also said it believed Emwazi was Jihadi John,” the Post added. “There was an extremely strong resemblance,” Asim Qureshi, Research Director at the rights group, CAGE [can’t make that up, ironic name], said after watching one of the videos. “This making me feel fairly certain that this is the same person.”

Now, British authorities will be able to determine if there is a wider network of Islamic militant contacts of Mr. Emwazi — who may still be in London; and/or, whether some of his friends/contacts — who may also be British citizens — have gone to Syria and/or, Iraq to fight on behalf if the Islamic State. Having his fingerprints, and perhaps his DNA, will be extremely useful in the search to kill or capture this killer, and try him for crimes against humanity. V/R, RCP

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