The ISIS member “Jihadi John” has been identified as Mohammed Emwazi, a British man in his mid-twenties. He is part of a prosperous family who moved to the U.K. from Kuwait when he was 6. He graduated from the University of Westminster with a computer programming degree.
Jihadi John is the character who appeared in many ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) videos next to his hostages and victims. During his appearances he would be dressed all black, with a hood covering everything except his eyes. He would use these recordings as a way of threatening Western leaders and admonish Arab allies.
Emwazi, who is now one of the world’s most wanted men, appeared in videos that portrayed either the killing or bodies of victims among which were U.S. citizens Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig and James Foley, British citizens Alan Henning and David Haines, Japanese Kenji Goto and more than 20 Syrian soldiers.
On Friday, February 27, British media revealed his true identity. The Daily Mail newspaper released a picture of him as a schoolboy.
The British intelligence neither declined nor confirmed Emwazi’s identity. Officials prefer not to release any specific information regarding his identity or that of other militants while investigations are still ongoing.
Investigations included such methods as voice and facial recognition. Former hostages were also interviewed.
But Emwazi is not new to British police. According to Asim Qureshi the research director of the Cage charity, an organization that tries to help those kept in confinement due to terrorist charges, Emwazi has been in in the attention of Britain’s main domestic intelligence service, MI5 for some time.
Police suspected him of wanting to join the al-Shabaab Somali militant group. He was detained in August 2009 in Tanzania where, according to Qureshi, Emwazi was actually on a safari trip with two friends.
Qureshi stated in a news conference in London that since that event, Emwazi was denied the possibility of traveling abroad although he wanted to return to Kuwait where he was allegedly going to marry and had a job waiting for him. He did, however, manage to travel to Syria in 2012.
There are many interpretations to this story. British intelligence is now trying to make it clear that the focus is on “Jihadi John” and not whether the person behind this character had past interactions with the MI5.
Image Source: Mirror