“Jihadi John” Unmasked
The masked “Jihadi John” killer who fronted Islamic State beheading videos has been identified as Mohammed Emwazi, a British computer programming graduate from a well-to-do London family who was known to the security services. The black clad militant brandishing a knife and speaking with an English accent was shown in videos released by Islamic State (IS) apparently decapitating hostages including Americans, Britons and Syrians. The 26-year-old militant used the videos to threaten the West, admonish its Arab allies and taunt President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron before petrified hostages cowering in orange jump suits. Emwazi’s name was first disclosed by the Washington Post. Dressed entirely in black, a balaclava covering all but his eyes and the bridge of his nose and a holster under his left arm, Jihadi John became a menacing symbol of Islamic State brutality and one of the world’s most wanted men. Hostages called him John as he and other Britons in Islamic State had been nicknamed the Beatles. He was unmasked publicly for the first time on Friday by British media which published a photograph showing Emwazi as a schoolboy.