Friday, November 13, 2015

BREAKING NEWS : Jihadi John targeted by US drone strike in Syria and killed


Jihadi John targeted by US drone strike in Syria with claims Isil murderer has been 'eviscerated' by 'clean hit'

US official claims Islamic State jihadi 'eviscerated' as he left a building in Raqqa in a 'clean hit' drone strike as Pentagon try to get confirmation Mohammed Emwazi is dead


• Jihadi John target of US drone strike
• Briton symbolises Isil brutality
• Pentagon seeking to confirm if he is dead 
• US officials confident strike successful

A Government source has told that Britain has been working "hand in glove" with America over the drone strike against Jihadi John.


The Prime Minister will be making a public statement on the strike later on today.

The indication from those comments is that Britain was kept fully in the loop about this drone strike.

'A high degree of certainty'

It's a good day to be a senior military source. told by an unnamed high-ranking expert that there is a "high degree of certainty" Jihadi John has been killed. This follows another source telling Fox News the US is 99 per cent sure. Officially, The Pentagon has so far only said they are "confident" the drone strike was successful.

The Sinjar offensive

Kurdish forces launched an offensive yesterday to retake northern Iraqi town of Sinjar from Islamic State militants who overran it last year, triggering US-led air strikes.

UK Government: We are aware of reports

The first reaction from Downing Street doesn't reveal much.


A spokeswoman said: "We are aware of the US statement about the airstrike targeting Mohammed Emwazi. Like them, we are not commenting further at this stage."

Kurdish forces retake Sinjar

Here are some of the images coming out of Sinjar this morning following yesterday's operation:

Members of the Kurdish peshmerga forces take positions with their weapons in the town of Sinjar, Iraq

Members of the Kurdish peshmerga forces take positions with their weapons in the town of Sinjar, Iraq

A displaced Yazidi man looks on as smoke billows during an operation by Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by US-led strikes in Sinjar

A displaced Yazidi man looks on as smoke billows during an operation by Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by US-led strikes in Sinjar

What is Isil?

Islamic State (Isil)


What is Isil? An Islamic extremist group controlling territory in Syria and Iraq

What are its aims? A worldwide Islamic caliphate - a religious government - without borders

How is the group funded? Looting, extortion and the possession of oilfields providing £1.8m in revenue per day

How much territory does Isil control? An area of the Middle East that is roughly the size of Belgium

Where is it based? Isil's HQ is understood to be in the city of Raqqa, Syria

Will we ever know for sure?

Missy Ryan, one of the Washington Post reporters who broke the story, has warned Jihadi John's death may never be confirmed. It may take a couple of days to confirm, she said, or it may never happen.

Jassem and Mohammed Emwazi

Jassem and Mohammed Emwazi

99% sure we got him

A senior US defence official has told Fox News: "We are 99 per cent sure we got him [Jihadi John]. We were on him for some time."

Reports emerged early this morning that a US airstrike in Raqqa, Isil's stronghold, appeared to have hit its target - the notorious propaganda tool Mohammed Emwazi, otherwise known as Jihadi John.

The Pentagon is assessing the results of the strike. Officials said there was no collateral damage.

One military source told "it was a great hit" and said the official assessment of whether he is dead will monitor communications between militants and rely on human sources on the ground.


The strike happened in a day of action against Isil, as Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by US-led air strikes blocked a key Islamic State group supply line with Syria in the battle to retake the town of Sinjar from the jihadists.

The UK's role in this is so far unclear, but in September this year, he was placed at the head of a "kill list" of five Isil extremists signed off by David Cameron as legitimate targets for drone strikes in Syria.

Mr Cameron had previously approved targets at a meeting of the National Security Council in May, shortly after the General Election. The Attorney General was at the meeting and confirmed the legal basis for the action.

Jihadi John - a timeline
From Mohammed Emwazi to Jihadi John
The making of a terrorist

1988


Mohammed Emwazi is born in Kuwait. He moves to Britain at the age of six.

2009

Emwazi graduates from the University of Westminster with a degree in computer science and arranges to marry a woman in Kuwait.


August

Emwazi goes to Tanzania with two friends, apparently on a safari holiday. They are stopped at Dar-es-Salaam airport and denied entry. They are flown to Schiphol and questioned. Their interrogators are believed to include an officer from MI5.

September


Emwazi leaves Britain for Kuwait to stay with his father’s family.

2010


May

Emwazi returns to Britain, he is stopped at Heathrow, but allowed back into the country, before returning to Kuwait once more.

2010


July

He returns to Britain, is questioned at Heathrow for six hours. The following day he tries to go back to Kuwait, but is denied a visa and has to remain in Dubai.

2012

Emwazi earns a qualification as an English language teacher, applies unsuccessfully for jobs in Saudi Arabia.

2013

Emwazi changes his name to Mohammed al-Ayan. Makes another unsuccessful attempt to get into Kuwait.

2014

August 19


Dressed from top to toe in black, “Jihadi John” makes his first public appearance in a video in which he executes James Foley, an American journalist.


September

Emwazi appears in a second video in which Steven Sotloff, another American journalist, is beheaded. 

"I'm back, Obama, and I'm back because of your arrogant foreign policy toward the Islamic State."


September 13

Emwazi kills his first British hostage, David Haines, a Scottish aid worker and threatens David Cameron, whom he describes as a lapdog.


October 3

Emwazi appears in another video showing the beheading of Alan Henning a British taxi driver and aid worker.

November 16


Emwazi, again dressed in black, appears in a video with a severed head, which he says is Peter Kassig, an American aid worker.


2015

January 20

Emwazi demands $200 million to spare the lives of two Japanese hostages, Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa

November 13


Emwazi reported to have been targeted – and according to one source “eviscerated “ - in US raid.

Success for US drone programme?

The US drone programme has been widely criticised for killing innocent civilians.

Almost all of the victims of American drone strikes in Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan during a five-month period were civilians, according to a leaked trove of classified intelligence documents released last month.

However, if it is confirmed that Emwazi has been killed by a drone, it will represent a major success for the programme - and the US military.

A US Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile stands on the tarmac of Kandahar military airport.

A US Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile stands on the tarmac of Kandahar military airport

Pentagon statement

The Pentagon statement on the airstrike in Raqqa

The Pentagon statement on the airstrike in Raqqa

Who is Jihadi John?

When Jihadi John's identity was first revealed to be Mohammed Emwazi in February, it was established that he had studied at the University of Westminster and had sought the help of CAGE, a controversial rights group which campaigns on behalf of communities affected by the “war on terror”. CAGE apologised last month following a report into its contact with Emwazi.

In an article from 2010, The Independent wrote that Emwazi was stopped by MI5 in Tanzania as he tried to go on safari and deported to Amsterdam, where he was accused of being a member of al-Shabaab and of trying to reach Somalia.


Emwazi was said to be obsessed with Somalia, according to a former hostage and reportedly made hostages captured by Isil watch videos relating to al-Shabaab.


The terrorist group is allied to al-Qaeda and its most notorious attack was the assault on Nairobi's Westgate Mall in September 2013 in which 67 people were killed.

The episode appeared to anger Emwazi. Asim Qureshi, research director at the rights group, Cage, told : "Mohammed was quite incensed by his treatment, that he had been very unfairly treated."


'There is accountability'

A senior US official has told NBC News: "There is no vengeance, but there is accountability."

The official stressed that "we are still assessing and not confirming".

'It won't bring my son back'

Shirley Sotloff, mother of one of Emwazi's victims Steven, told :


If they got him great," she said. But "it doesn't bring my son back."

"Who knows if he's gone," she said. "I don't think there will ever be closure."

Jihadi John's father likely to be happy


The father of Mohammed Emwazi described his son as a "dog, an animal and a terrorist" and revealed he begged his parents for forgiveness before joining Isil and becoming Jihadi John, The Telegraph disclosed in March this year.

But instead of forgiving him, Jassem Emwazi, 51, told his son that he hoped he would be killed after he said he was going to Syria “for jihad” in 2013.

Jassem and Mohammed Emwazi

Jassem and Mohammed Emwazi

Mr Emwazi's views on his son were made plain in an emotional phone call he made to a colleague to explain his absence from his job as a storekeeper in Cooperative supermarket depot in an isolated rural area around 12 miles from Kuwait's border with Iraq.

A masked, black-clad militant, who has been identified by the Washington Post newspaper as a Briton named Mohammed Emwazi

A masked, black-clad militant, who has been identified by the Washington Post newspaper as a Briton named Mohammed Emwazi 

'Confidence' strike successful

an unnamed US official as saying that authorities are confident that the strike killed Emwazi, adding that the US announced the strike because of Emwazi's notoriety.


A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of the US statement about the air strike targeting Mohamed Emwazi.

“Like them, we are not commenting further at this stage.”


Raqqa

The drone strike took place in Raqqa, Isil's de facto capital. 
life inside Raqqa.
extremists seized control of the city from more moderate groups.


A second 'Beatle' hit?

The Washington Post reports that another British jihadi may have also been hit when the drone struck Emwazi's vehicle.

The second jihadi, like Emwazi, was part of the British terrorists known by their captives as the 'Beatles', because of their accents.

'Persistent surveillance'

CNN reports, citing an unnamed US official, that the US drone strike came after "persistent surveillance." 

The official added that authorities knew it was Emwazi when they took the shot.

Day of action against Isil

News of the US drone strile comes as Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by US-led air strikes blocked a key Islamic State group supply line with Syria in the battle to retake the town of Sinjar from the jihadists.

A permanent cut in the supply line would hamper Isil's ability to move fighters and supplies between northern Iraq and Syria, where the jihadists hold significant territory and have declared a "caliphate."

Jihadi John's known beheading victims

James Foley

US freelance reporter James Foley in Aleppo in 2012

US freelance reporter James Foley in Aleppo in 2012

Steven Sotloff

Steven Sotloff  in Libya, 2011

Steven Sotloff (Centre with black helmet) talks to Libyan rebels on the Al Dafniya front line in Misrata, Libya, 2011

David Haines

David Haines

David Haines

Alan Henning

Alan Henning, the 47-year-old taxi driver abducted by Isil in Syria

Alan Henning, the 47-year-old taxi driver abducted by Isil in Syria

Peter Kassig

Peter Kassig in front of a truck filled with supplies for Syrian refugees

Peter Kassig in front of a truck filled with supplies for Syrian refugees


Isil 'will look like losers'

Richard Clarke, a former counter-terrorism advisor to the White House and ABC News consultant, said:

Since Isil has used propaganda and its 'winner' image to lure new adherents, when its propaganda figure is killed that makes it look more like a loser, more like the tide may be turning against it.

Mohammed Emwazi, identified as 'Jihadi John', was just a regular schoolboy growing up in west London. Nobody imagined he would turn into the most barbaric terrorist on the planet

Mohammed Emwazi, identified as 'Jihadi John'

Emwazi death 'would be small solace'

Diane Foley, the mother of James Foley, told that if Emwazi has been killed, it would be “really a small solace to us"

This huge effort to go after the this deranged man filled with hate when they can’t make half that effort to save the hostages while these young Americans were still alive.

Earlier this year she said she forgave Emwazi:

It saddens me - his continued hatred. He felt wronged, now we hate him - now that just prolongs the hatred. We need to end it.

As a mum, I forgive him. You know, the whole thing is tragic.

Jihadi John's victims

The list of Jihadi John's victims is long. Here is a tribute to David Haines, one of the people Emwazi murdered, by his brother:

Is manhunt over?

Emwazi has been one of the world's most wanted men since he shot to attention last August in the Isil beheading footage of James Foley, the American journalist.

In September this year, he was placed at the head of a "kill list" of five Isil extremists signed off by David Cameron as legitimate targets for drone strikes in Syria, The Telegraph reported.

Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, said that Britain will "not hesitate" to carry out drone strikes against a group of jihadists who are plotting to carry out "armed attacks on our streets".

Mr Cameron approved targets at a meeting of the National Security Council in May, shortly after the General Election. The Attorney General was at the meeting and confirmed the legal basis for the action.

Emwazi hit 'in a vehicle'

A different US official has told The Associated Press that Emwazi was in a vehicle when the drone strike hit.

Here is the statement from Peter Cook, the Pentagon spokesman:

US forces conducted an airstrike in Raqqa, Syria, on 12 November 2015 targeting Mohamed Emwazi, also known as Jihadi John.

Emwazi, a British citizen, participated in the videos showing the murders of US journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, US aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, 

Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, and a number of other hostages.

We are assessing the results of tonight's operation and will provide additional information as and where appropriate.

Jihadi John 'eviscerated'

One official said the jihadist, Mohammed Emwazi, was “eviscerated” as he left a building in Raqqa, Syria, and entered a vehicle. The official called it a “clean hit” with no collateral damage.

"Jihadi John"

"Jihadi John" who has murdered dozens of people

Pentagon trying to establish if Emwazi is dead

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook says the airstrike on Thursday in Raqqa targeted Emwazi. Cook says whether or not Emwazi died in the strike is not clear.

Emwazi participated in the beheading videos of two American journalists and the slayings of several other captives.


Emwazi is in the videos showing the killings of journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, U.S. aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, and a number of other hostages.

Cook says the Pentagon is assessing the results of the strike.

Emwazi, a 26-year-old from London, was unmasked as Isil's executioner-in-chief in February.