The man who beheaded several Japanese, British, and American hostages during the past six months, and became infamous worldwide within a short span of time, has been identified as Kuwati-born Mohammed Emwazi whose parents moved to the West. The details of his identity have been revealed by The Washington Post on its website on Thursday morning. It elicited these details about Emwazi from his two close friends and others acquainted with the case.
For several months Emwazi with face masked and knife in hand has been the symbol of barbarism of Islamic State. The details about the killer also referred as “Jihadi John” that emerged have been similar to several other jihadists. A comfortable life and good education in the West finding succor in the extremist ideology have been the hallmark of such misguided young men. Mohammed Emwazi, who has been described by his friends as a polite and quiet man incapable of violence, has a long standing links with extremist groups. The counterterrorism officials in London knew him well before he departed to Syria.
The BBC posted an excerpt of 2011 court papers that described Emwazi as a member of “a network of United Kingdom and East African based extremists which is involved in the provision of fund and equipment to Somalia for terrorism-related purposes.” A security analyst with the Royal United Services Institute, Raffaello Pantucci, revealed that Emwazi had been presumably a member of a gang of young Arab men belonging to West London travelling frequently to Somalia to fight alongside Islamic militants. Even on local level, these people were involved in drugs and petty crimes. A Lebanese-born educated in Britain, Bilal al-Berwazi, a member of the group actively involved in the fighting in Somalia, was killed in a drone strike by the US in 2012. Another member of the group living in the same West London, Mohd Sakr, was killed a month later in another drone attack. Emwazi, lastly, moved to Syria where more than 20000 foreign fighters from over 90 countries have flocked, as per an US estimate, to fight alongside Islamic terrorists.