The revelation that the ISIS terrorist dubbed Jihadi John is a Londoner who attended a Christian grade school and has a degree from the University of Westminster has left England and the rest of the world asking many questions.
Many cannot fathom why a man who had apparently embraced the West and had grown up in a secular, modern nation would become radicalized to such an extent that it would lead him to commit the barbaric act of beheading another human being and to embrace a 7th century form of Islam.
The masked man, dressed in black in the gruesome propaganda videos released by ISIS, is seen standing over his kneeling victims, who are dressed in the now infamous orange jumpers. Those believed killed by the vicious executioner include American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, fellow British aid workers Alan Hennings and David Haines, 22 Syrian soldiers, and Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.
In stark contrast to the brutality shown by the London-raised man, the new photos of Jihadi John show a six-year-old boy posing with his classmates at the St. Mary Magdalene Church of England primary school in West London. Nobody that attended school with the man, who has been identified as Kuwaiti-born Mohammed Emwazi, could have envisioned the popular kid turning into a savage who terrorizes his captives in the most unimaginable ways.
People who knew Emwazi paint a picture of a shy boy who seemed to embrace British life and was not overly religious. He also enjoyed playing sports and was a fan of the English club Manchester United. In other words, he seemed to be a normal kid, doing things all kids do.
Along with the new photos of Jihadi John, more details about what he was like when he was growing up in London are coming to light.
A school yearbook from when he was 10, says Emwazi’s favorite computer game was “Duke Nukem: Time To Kill,” and his favorite book was How To Kill A Monster. Additionally, the boy who became Jihadi John listed his favorite band as pop group S Club 7, and said that when he is 30, he wants to “be in a football team and scoring a goal,” according to a report in the Daily Mail.
It is incomprehensible to civilized people that a seemingly normal person can become so radicalized, but friends who knew Emwazi say he changed after he started attending the University of Westminster, which some have slammed for being a hotbed for radicals.
After graduating in 2009, Jihadi John attempted to fly to Tanzania, telling immigration authorities he was going on a safari, but was turned back to the Netherlands. There he was interrogated by an MI-5 officer identified as “Nick,” who accused him of wanting to go to Somalia to join the terrorist group Al Shabaab. The future Islamist killer denied the charge.
At that point, he was already on the intelligence community’s radar, who were monitoring all his moves. Jihadi John emailed CAGE — an advocacy group dedicated to those who they believe are victimized by the war on terror — telling of his interrogation and attempts to recruit him as an informant.
“He (Nick) knew everything about me; where I lived, what I did, the people I hanged around with.”
“You’re going to have a lot of trouble…You’re going to be known…You’re going to be followed…Life will be harder for you.”
MI-5 began to pay visits to Jihadi John and his family, and he decided to leave England and start a new life in Kuwait. As he was about to leave Britain, he was stopped at Heathrow Airport, where he claimed he was assaulted. Emwazi told CAGE he felt like a prisoner in London. The terrorist also complained that the intelligence service for prohibiting him from living his life in his birthplace of Kuwait.
At his father’s suggestion, the terrorist seen on video beheading hostages changed his name to Mohammed al-Ayan in 2013, and he was once again prevented from flying to Kuwait. Shortly thereafter, he went missing, and his family was informed he was now in Syria.
Despite Emwazi’s claims of he was only going on an harmless safari, one former prisoner of ISIS who is now free said the ISIS executioner was obsessed with Somalia and the Jihad there. As one of three guards of the hostages, he forced his victims to watch al-Shabab propaganda videos on Somalia and lectured them constantly on the Islam’s war in Somalia.
Jihadi John’s family has not been identified to protect their privacy, but they deny that their son is the masked terrorist seen in the ISIS beheading videos. Two British trainee medics, who met the ruthless man in Syria, told ITV they believe he was chosen as the group’s head executioner because of his fearless, nothing to lose attitude and described him as being always ready for war.
[Image via Youtube]