“Jihadi John,” the suave, British-accented ISIS terrorist who has appeared in dozens of videos that show him beheading several western hostages, seems to have been finally identified. According to CNN, reports by the Washington Post and BBC News have confirmed the identity of Jihadi John as Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born Londoner.
Jihadi John was allegedly identified by one of his close friends, who says that he/she has no doubt about the fact that he indeed is Emwazi. According to the report, Emwazi is a well-educated man from a “well-to-do” family in London. He apparently also holds a degree in computer programming, the reports claim.
Apart from the close friend, whose identity remains a secret, a UK-based human rights group who was in contact with Emwazi before he went to Syria back in 2012 has also confirmed that Jihadi John and Emwazi are indeed the same person. However, official sources from London — including the London Metropolitan Police — have not yet confirmed the development regarding the true identity of Jihadi John.
Commander Richard Walton of the London Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command told CNN, “We have previously asked media outlets not to speculate about the details of our investigation on the basis that life is at risk. We are not going to confirm the identity of anyone at this stage or give an update on the progress of this live counter terrorism investigation.”
British and U.S. military officials previously said that they know the identity of Jihadi John. It is believed that they have kept the information away from the public for security reasons. Meanwhile, several former intelligence officials believe that the U.S. and Britain have more to gain by keeping the identity of Jihadi John hidden from the public.
Jihadi John has been appearing in ISIS propaganda videos for well over a year now. He first gained notoriety in August 2014 after he was seen in several videos that showed him killing western hostages. The people who have been killed by Jihadi John include American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.
In his last appearance in January, he had demanded a ransom of $200 million to secure the release of two Japanese hostages who were in ISIS custody. Both of them were executed shortly thereafter. Last year, there were several reports that identified Jihadi John as London-based rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary.
[Image Via Mirror]