One of the world’s most notorious ISIS terrorists, Mohammed Emwazi, who is believed to be Jihadi John, has recently fled Syria in fear for his life. Emwazi, who is reportedly headed for North Africa, believes that ISIS may try to kill him as they no longer have a use for him.
Emwazi, who was once a resident of London, England, fears that ISIS “will drop him like a stone or worse if they feel he is no longer of any use to them,” a source told the Daily Express newspaper in the UK. The source added that it is possible that “he will suffer the same fate as his victims.”
Emwazi gained notoriety when he was identified as Jihadi John, the terrorist who savagely beheaded numerous journalists and humanitarian aid workers from the US and Britain. The beheadings were filmed by ISIS, released on the internet and used as propaganda.
The loss of anonymity has reportedly terrified Emwazi.
US and British special forces operating in Syria have made it a priority to find and capture Emwazi in order to gain information as well as put him on trial for murder for his involvement in the killings of James Foley, David Haines, Alan Henning, Peter Kassig and Steven Sotloff.
Foley was the first victim of Emwazi, who was seen decapitating the US journalist in a video that was published by ISIS in August 2014. The last video that the Kuwaiti-born 26-year-old was featured in depicted the beheading of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto over six months ago.
Emwazi was originally born in Kuwait and immigrated to the UK. He holds a computer science degree from University of Westminster.
The Daily Express reported that a friend of Emwazi had told them that Emwazi had never been “a good Muslim”. He never wore proper Islamic dress, “he smoked drugs, drank and was violent towards other boys. The fact he portrays himself as a strict Muslim is laughable and shameful,” said the friend who wished to remain anonymous.
While ISIS still operates largely in the shadows, the terror group recruits heavily via sophisticated internet propaganda. While the loss of one member out of the estimated 20,000 strong members would not be significant for the organization, losing such a high profile member to the outside world may be indicative of some turmoil amid the organization.
With his identity being known, compounded with last week’s announcement by ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, that ISIS will no longer publish videos depicting executions, it seems that Emwazi’s fears that his usefulness in the organization has waned may be well founded indeed.