ISIS militant ‘Jihadi John’ unmasked as middle-class Brit

Written By kom nampuldu on Kamis, 26 Februari 2015 | 20.49

"Jihadi John" has been unmasked.

The infamous masked ISIS madman seen in gruesome videos beheading Western hostages was identified by media outlets Thursday as Mohammed Emwazi — a middle-class Briton with a degree in computer programming.

The BBC reported that the Kuwaiti-born Emwazi is in his mid-20s and from West London. British authorities chose not to identify him earlier for operational reasons.

"I have no doubt that Mohammed is Jihadi John," one of Emwazi's close friends told the Washington Post. "He was like a brother to me. . . . I am sure it is him."

A rep for British human rights group CAGE also believes Emwazi is "Jihadi John."

"There was an extremely strong resemblance," said Asim Qureshi, who had been in touch with Emwazi before he went to Syria, the newspaper reported. "This is making me feel fairly certain that this is the same person."

The ruthless thug first appeared in a video in August beheading American journalist James Foley.

He is believed to be the same terrorist seen in videos beheading US journalist Steven Sotloff, British aid worker David Haines, British cab driver Alan Henning and US aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, also known as Peter.

The British-accented jihadist has been seen clad in a black robe with a black balaclava concealing all but his eyes. In the videos, he spewed threats at Westerners and then held his knife to captives' necks.

He also was seen on video with Japanese captives Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto before they, too, were slaughtered.

Emwazi is believed to have gone to Syria around 2012 and then joined the barbaric Islamic State, the Washington Post reported.

US and UK authorities had Emwazi on their radar before he left for Syria, the BBC reported. He had ties to a man affiliated with the jihadist group al-Shabab in Somalia, the BBC said.

British police declined to comment Thursday.

Commander Richard Walton, head of the police Counter Terrorism Command, told the BBC: "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 counterterrorism investigation."

A spokeswoman for the British Embassy in Washington told the Washington Post: "Our prime minister has been clear that we want all those who have committed murder on behalf of ISIL to face justice for the appalling acts carried out. There is an ongoing police investigation into the murder of hostages by ISIL in Syria. It is not appropriate for the government to comment on any part of it while this continues."

US officials also declined to comment — as did Emwazi's family, citing legal advice, the newspaper reported.

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