27 February 2015 - Terrorist ‘Jihadi John’ is a Londoner
Isis murderer Mohammed Emwazi is Londoner on MI5’s radar since 2009
Randeep Ramesh (The Guardian)
The British man who was named as the extremist glorying in the beheading of journalists and aid workers had been known to intelligence agencies for five years before he publicly emerged in a series of grisly Islamic State (Isis) propaganda videos.
It has been confirmed to the Guardian that Mohammad Emwazi, a 26-year-old Londoner and computer studies graduate, is the militant labelled “Jihadi John” who has claimed responsibility for the beheadings of at least seven US, British and other hostages.
Emails and other documents that emerged on Thursday also showed that security services had been tracking Emwazi since 2009, starting when he was refused entry to Tanzania, until the middle of 2013 when they informed his family that he had crossed over to Syria.
Souad Mekhennet (The Washington Post)
LONDON — For months he taunted, knife in hand, his voice slightly muffled behind the mask that became the grim symbol of Islamic State barbarism.
But when the identity of the killer known as “Jihadi John” was revealed Thursday, the profile that emerged was disturbingly familiar: a young man whose parents’ decision to immigrate to the West afforded him a comfortable life and an education, but who ultimately found identity and succor in extremist ideology.
His name is Mohammed Emwazi. And despite friends’ descriptions of a polite and quiet man not capable of violence, Emwazi’s links to extremist groups appear to have been long-standing, and he was well known to counterterrorism officials in London before he went to Syria.
Ian Johnston (The Telegraph)
The propaganda value for Isis of “Jihadi John” was made clear by the nom de guerre he gave himself: Abu Abdullah al-Britani.
The fact that Mohammed Emwazi was born in Kuwait was overlooked. Simply by having a chief executioner who spoke with a London accent – which led to him being given an everyman nickname in the press, with a traditional British feel, and being grouped with other UK militants known as “the Beatles” – Isis hoped to inspire more like-minded British and European citizens to join their cause.
Up to 6,200 Europeans are believed to have joined Isis, with as many as 600 from the UK. However, Emwazi’s nationality was not the only reason that he rose to prominence within the murderous militant group.
A former Isis member said he saw Emwazi on several occasions in Syria but that it would have been “too dangerous” to ask him any questions as he was “the British guy who slaughters people”, according to an account he gave to The Guardian.
Robert Mendick (The Telegraph)
‘Jihadi John’s’ childhood gives no clue as to what would follow. Mohammed Emwazi, now 26, was born in Kuwait in 1988. His parents Jasem, 51, and Ghaneya, 47, came to London in 1993 in the aftermath of the first Gulf War. Mohammed Emwazi was just six and he arrived in the UK with his parents and a younger sister Asma, now a young architect with a bright future ahead of her. Four more siblings would be born in the UK. Emwazi is an unusual surname - it is the only one listed in the UK - and transliterated from the Arabic al-Muazzem or al-Muazzam. At one stage, many years later in 2010, Emwazi would be referred to as al-Muazzam in a report that would give a hint to the terrorist path on which he was about to embark.
But during those early years, the family were happily ensconced in west London, in an area bordering David Cameron’s famously wealthy and influential ‘Notting Hill’ set. Jasem runs a taxi firm while Ghaneya brought up the children. The family moved a fair bit, Emwazi undergoing something of a peripatetic upbringing, repeatedly swapping one rented property for another in the Maida Vale area, one of the most expensive areas in the country.
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"27 February 2015 - Terrorist ‘Jihadi John’ is a Londoner", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), février 2015. Consulté le 28/09/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2015/27-february-2015-terrorist-jihadi-john-is-a-londoner