“Jihadi John” Identity revealed as Mohammed Emwazi
Mohammed Emwazi has been identified as, “Jihadi John”, the Islamic State militant who has been linked to the beheadings in 2014 and 2015. His first appearance was last August in the beheading video of American journalist James Foley. In each of his appearances he is dressed in a black balaclava and a black robe so only his eyes and nose are seen.
He is believed to have travelled to Syria in 2012, where he later joined IS and became their symbol around the world. Research director Asim Qureshi, from rights group, CAGE, has stated that ‘there was an extremely strong resemblance.’ between Jihadi John and Emwazi.
Authorities have used several methods and technologies in order to identify Emwazi, including voice analysis and interviews with former hostages. In September 2014, FBI Director James B. Comey believed that they had identified Jihadi John. His identity was not released to the public as the FBI and MI5 were unsure how the information would affect hostages. As Emwazi’s family lived in the United Kingdom at that time, their safety was also a key concern.
The Kuwait-Born British National was previously known to British security services. A deputy spokeswoman for British Prime Minister David Cameron said,“We cannot confirm or deny anything in relation to intelligence. The point the prime minister would make, which we have said since we have seen the awful actions of these ISIL [ISIS] terrorists, is that we are absolutely determined to bring the perpetrators to justice. The police and security agencies have been working hard to do that.” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/26/uk-man-behind-isis-beheadings-named-as-mohammed-emwazi-jihadi-john
The release of Emwazi’s identity has raised many questions about whether this will change his behaviour. Afzal Ashraf, a consultant fellow at the Royal United Services Institute think tank in London stated, ”An interesting impact is whether he will still wear a mask next time he appears in a video. If there is a soon a photograph of him in circulation, then he will be feeling as uncomfortable about this development as the police and security services.” He also commented that the leak of the identity may impair other security agencies on investigating and identifying other Western extremists who have chosen to fight with the Islamic State.