FBI Director James Comey said today that they believe they’ve identified the masked man who appeared as the executioner in the ISIS hostage videos. The intelligence agency has not released his name yet, however, so he is still known only as “Jihadi John,” a name he was given by the media.
Few details about Jihadi John
The man is the one who executed American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley and British aid worker David Haines in the recent ISIS videos. Officials are releasing few details about him, but the Daily Mail reports that the executioner belongs to a quartet of British jihadis who are being called the Beatles and holding hostages for ISIS in Syria.
Officials knew him to be a hostage negotiator for the group and also a hostage guard in Raqqa. He was believed to have come from the U.K. because of his accent, which sounded to be from the London area. One person who had formerly been held by Jihadi John said he was “intelligent, educated and a devout believer in radical Islamic teachings,” according to The Wire.
Last month, the FBI sent a team to the U.K. to help figure out the identity of the executioner. On Wednesday, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said they were closing in on the man.
ISIS releases propaganda videos
ISIS has released three propaganda videos in addition to the beheading videos. This week, the militant group released a video showing John Cantlie, who is one of the hostages they are currently holding. He reads a script that denounces Western media and blasts the airstrikes against territories that are occupied by the Islamic state.
Cantlie was also in the second ISIS propaganda video, giving another monologue. The first one was a recruitment video done in the style of a movie trailer. None of the three propaganda videos featured Jihadi John, who played the central role in the three beheading videos, not only carrying out the executions, but also giving a speech at the end in English.