The masked ISIS militant known as ‘Jihadi John’, who has been pictured in the videos of the beheadings of Western hostages, has been identified as Mohammed Emwazi
‘Jihadi John’, now known as Mohammed Emwazi, is a Kuwaiti-born British man in his mid-20s from west London who was previously known to British security services. They chose not to disclose his name earlier for operational reasons, but Emwazi first appeared in a video last August when he allegedly killed the American journalist James Foley.
Last August, a former British rapper who went by the stage name L Jinny (real nameAbdel-Majed Abdel Bary) was suspected of being ‘Jihadi John’, the terrorist who participated in the James Foley beheading. On Thursday conflicting reports came out, with people claiming to have definitively identified “Jihadi John’. According to new information, the jihadist in question is not the former U.K. rapper, but rather a college graduate from a wealthy family. Though L Jinny is still a wanted terrorist, the true identity of “Jihadi John” is now confirmed as Mohammed Emwazi of London.
Emwazi, believed to be 27, has been previously described as a member of a network involving at least 13 men from London, and at least two of them were subjected to house arrest control orders. One absconded, another was killed in a drone strike, and chances of Emwazi ever returning to the UK are slim after his identity has been blasted in the media.
Friends told the Washington Post that he was raised in a middle class area of West London and studied computer programming at the University of Westminster. He would on occasion pray at a mosque in Greenwich.
Westminster confirmed Emwazi had left the university six years ago, stating:
If these allegations are true, we are shocked and sickened.”
Emwazi’s friends told the Washington Post they believed he started to be radicalized after traveling to Tanzania in May 2009 following his graduation. No further information has been released on the matter, but the hunt is now on for the real ‘Jihadi John’.