Jihadi John, the ISIS fanatic believed responsible for beheading five Western hostages in a series of horrific online videos, appears to be alive and well — if a new photo posted by a fellow militant on Twitter does, in fact, show the man it claims to portray.
Jihadi John — nicknamed by former hostages after Beatle John Lennon due to his English accent — was earlier reported to have been wounded or possibly even killed in a United States airstrike last month.
But the chilling Twitter photo claims to show that Jihadi John is just fine, and prepared to continue fighting for the so-called Islamic State, often referred to as ISIS.
The photo was posted on the account of a person using the name Abu Anas Mujahid, who if not an actual ISIS militant is clearly an ISIS supported judging by the posts on his Twitter feed, which includes such decalarations as, “Islamic State is the rightful ruler of all Muslims and every Muslim should help and support Caliphate expand further.”
The Abu Anas Mujahid has now been suspended by Twitter, but not before his post with the alleged Jihadi John photo was captured in a screen grab.
But is the photo of Jihad John posted to Twitter actually the same individual who appears in the videos? Western intelligence agencies have suspected that a “body double” has substituted for the original Jihadi John in the more recent videos, and in the videos and photos he is always covered in black from head to toe, except for his hands and eyes.
British intelligence officials claim to have positively identified the man behind the mask, but they have so far refused to make the real name of Jihadi John public. He is generally believed to be a former London resident of Middle Eastern descent, who fled Great Britain sometime in the past year or two to join ISIS in Syria.
Most public speculation has focused on a former aspiring London rapper named Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, who did indeed flee for Syria and whose father is an accused Al-Qaeda terrorist.
But British intelligence sources say that though Abdel Bary seems to fit the profile of Jihad John, the two are not the same person.
The new Jihadi John photo — or alleged Jihad John photo — surfaced December 10, the same day ISIS militants announced through “middelmen” that it wants to sell the remains of James Foley — the first American journalist beheaded on video by Jihadi John — to the United States.
ISIS is demanding a price of $1 million for the body of Foley, who was slain apparently by the militant known as Jihadi John in August.