A new video featuring the infamous British Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist known as Jihadi John has been obtained by Britain’s Daily Mail, in which the British-Kuwaiti man threatens to return to the UK to behead non-believers. The paper shared the silent, eight-second clip it received, part of the full one-minute, 17-second recording, on Sunday.
According to the paper, the video was filmed about two months ago on a cellphone. It depicts Jihadi John, identified in February as 27-year-old Londoner Mohammed Emwazi, beside a flatbed truck equipped with grenade-launcher. Emwazi is dressed in black, wearing a cap and a hood over his head, but his face is exposed. An expert consulted by the paper confirmed there are enough common features between the video image and known pictures of Emwazi to warrant an arrest.
Jihadi John Revealed
The footage was reportedly filmed near the ISIS-held town of Deir Ezzor in south-east Syria. It was then obtained secretly by members of the Free Syrian Army, who forwarded it to a colleague, known as Abu Rashid, in Sofia, Bulgaria. Another FSA-linked activist who was shown the complete video told the Daily Mail, “He looks at the camera and says, ‘I am Mohammed Emwazi. I will soon go back to Britain with the Khalifa’ [the leader of Islamic State].”
According to the unnamed activist, Emwazi says he will “continue cutting heads,” adding, “‘We will kill the kuffar.’ Then the camera shows two masked men that looked like bodyguards.”
Abu Rashid is believed to have received the grainy cellphone footage via video messaging app Viber. He is said to have passed the information along to Bulgarian counter-terrorist police.
Following Jihadi John’s identification earlier this year, speculation that he was on the run abounded. Some reports had him fleeing to Libya along with ISIS, while others suggested he was hiding in Syria from his own fellow fighters, who wanted him dead. The new video seems to contradict such reports.
Emwazi is currently the world’s most wanted man, with a $10 million bounty placed on his head by the US. He first came to infamy when he was shown beheading American journalist James Foley in a video about a year ago. He has since been seen beheading six other Western captives held by ISIS, including Israeli-American journalist Steven Sotloff, British volunteer Alan Henning and American aid worker Peter Kassig.
Emwazi was born in Kuwait and moved to London at the age of four. Prior to joining ISIS, he was enrolled as a student at the University of Westminster, where he studied information systems and business management. Records indicate he was just two modules short of completing his degree when he left the school in 2009. Emwazi was considered a model student.