Jihadi john

The great conundrum for the Islamophobia lobby

It is a shame that ‘subversion’ of the state is no longer a crime in Britain.  One result of it not being so is that people have become blind to the idea that it is even going on. The other day I wrote about the ‘academics’ who had signed a letter to the Guardian insisting that Britain should not have a counter-terrorism policy, a view which is increasingly echoed at the top of the Labour party.  Interestingly enough, since pointing out that the letter’s signatories included people who are not only not academics, but extremists, I have learnt a most interesting thing.  A signatory informs me that letter was not just

The Isis executioner and me

Even if Abu Rumaysah does turn out to be the new ‘Jihadi John’, shown on video this week presiding over the murder of five innocent men, I’m not sorry I encouraged him to go to Syria and join Isis. The last time I saw the 32-year-old Briton (born to a UK Hindu family as Siddhartha Dhar) was at a BBC studio in London. He was one of a group of people who had been central to the extremist group al-Muhajiroun and its offshoots for years. In 2009 they had, through a front organisation, lured me into a set-up with more than a hundred Islamists which soon became violent and from

Desperate state

The latest video from Isis introduces a new British executioner, a successor to ‘Jihadi John’, and it is a classic of the genre: bombastic, pompous, ridiculous yet terrifying. ‘O slave of the White House, O mule of the Jews,’ says a man in a ski mask, addressing David Cameron, ‘how strange it is that the leader of a small island threatens us with a handful of planes. Only an imbecile would dare to wage war against a land where the law of Allah reigns supreme.’ He has a cold, arrogant look in his eyes and brandishes a pistol held sideways, aping American ‘gangsta style’. Kneeling before him are five men

Portrait of the year | 10 December 2015

January David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said that only electing the Conservatives could ‘save Britain’s economic recovery’. Labour unveiled a poster saying: ‘The Tories want to cut spending on public services back to the levels of the 1930s,’ and Ed Miliband, the party leader, said he would ‘weaponise the NHS’. Two male ‘hedge witches’ were wed under the equal marriage law in a pagan ceremony in Edinburgh. Alexis Tsipras became prime minister of Greece, heading a Syriza coalition. In Paris, gunmen murdered 17 people, 11 at Charlie Hebdo, the magazine that had published cartoons of Mohammed. The price of Brent crude oil dipped below $50 a barrel, down from $107

Public backs David Cameron on Syrian airstrikes, according to new poll

The terrorist attacks in Paris appear to have shifted public attitudes on both refugees and airstrikes. According to a new poll from the Times/YouGov, 20 per cent think we should accept more refugees — down 16 points from September — while almost half said we should accept fewer or none at all, which is a 22 point increase from September. Other factors may have played into this shift in opinion but what has happened in Paris will surely have played a big part in it. The poll also reveals that the public backs the decision to to kill Mohammed Emwazi, aka Jihadi John, via a drone strike. 76 per cent said it was the

The Islamic State says France is atop its target list – and declares a new war

Speaking from the Élysée Palace, Francois Hollande has said that the terror attacks which killed 127 in Paris last night were the work of the Islamic State. What happened yesterday in Paris and in Saint Denis is an act of war and this country needs to make the right decisions to fight this war. This act committed by the terrorist army, Islamic State, is against who we are, against a free country that speaks to the whole world. It is an act of war prepared and planned outside, with outside involvement which this investigation will seek to establish. It is an act of absolute barbarism. France will be ruthless in

David Cameron: bombing Jihadi John ’was an act of self defence’

The Prime Minister has confirmed the United States has attempted to take out Jihadi John in Syria but it’s unknown whether he has been killed. In a statement outside Downing Street this morning, David Cameron said: ‘We cannot yet be certain if the strike was successful. But let me be clear. I have always said that we would do whatever was necessary, whatever it took, to track down Emwazi and stop him taking the lives of others. We have been working, with the United States, literally around the clock to track him down. This was a combined effort. And the contribution of both our countries was essential.’ Justifying the mission, Cameron

Douglas Murray

Drones get the job done, as Jihadi John may have just discovered

Excellent news, if it is confirmed, that Mohammed Emwazi – aka ‘Jihadi John’ – has discovered the hard way that seventy-two virgins have not been waiting around for him on a cloud. It is more than a year since David Cameron announced that this country would chase the murderer of British, American and Japanese aid-workers and journalists to the ends of the earth. Unsurprisingly Emwazi just had to be found in Syria. But it is good news that he has been found, not just because justice is served but because it might make other people reflect on the merits of the post-Westminster university career-path that he chose. I imagine there

Jihadi John targeted in U.S. airstrikes in Syria

Mohammed Emwazi, the British Isis militant better known as Jihadi John, looks likely to have been killed in an airstrike by the U.S. air force. Although there has been no official confirmation, No.10 sources have told The Guardian there is a ‘high degree of certainty’ that Emwazi was killed in the strikes. The Pentagon has released the following statement: ‘U.S. forces conducted an airstrike in Raqqa, Syria, on Nov. 12, 2015 targeting Mohamed Emwazi, also known as “Jihadi John.” Emwazi, a British citizen, participated in the videos showing the murders of U.S. journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, U.S. aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, Japanese journalist

William Shawcross is right: Islamists are skilled at lawfare

Regular readers may recall the charming group ‘Cage’. This is the organisation which made headlines earlier this year when Mohammed Emwazi (aka ‘Jihadi John’) was outed as one of their associates. The response of ‘Cage’ was to extol what a ‘beautiful’ young man Jihadi John was, and claim that if it weren’t for Britain’s security services their friend would never have thought of cutting off infidel heads in the Syrian desert. After that PR low, the Charity Commission suggested that UK charities like the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust might be unwise to continue shelling out hundreds of thousands of pounds to the group. There are strict rules in the UK

Make no mistake: the Top Gear brouhaha is cultural warfare

It’s a famous quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald, one that Elton John should ponder (when he’s not out shopping, that is): ‘The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.’ Mind you, Elton John is a hysterical, spoilt, ugly fat man who thinks his opinions count. (Perhaps they do with non-talents such as Liz Hurley and Victoria Beckham.) I now know who Dolce & Gabbana are because of the row over children conceived by IVF and surrogacy, and they seem like nice billionaires, except they threw in the towel right away

Portrait of the week | 5 March 2015

Home The man seen in several Islamic State videos of hostages being beheaded, nicknamed Jihadi John by the British press, was revealed as Mohammed Emwazi, aged 26, born in Kuwait but raised from the age of six in London. He was said to have had help with anger management at his secondary school, Quintin Kynaston Academy in St John’s Wood. An advocacy group called Cage produced a recording of him complaining that MI5 had questioned him after he had to turn back from a ‘safari’ in Tanzania in 2009. General Raymond Odierno, the chief of staff of the US army, said he was ‘very concerned’ about British defence cuts. Lance

If ‘non-violent extremists’ can’t express their views at universities, where can they?

Last month, the government’s Counter-Terrorism & Security Bill became law. One provision is the legal obligation it places upon ‘specified authorities’ to ‘prevent people from being drawn into terrorism’. ‘Specified authorities’ includes universities, whose vice-chancellors made several interventions as the legislation made its way through Parliament. The Education (No.2) Act of 1996 places a duty on universities and colleges to ‘ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for members, students and employees of the establishment and for visiting speakers’. University professors (myself included) pointed out very publicly that the Counter-Terrorism Bill, as originally drafted, seemed not to take account of this obligation. We were grateful that the House of

Cage offered ‘Radical Chic’ to modern liberals

In the 1970s it was called ‘Radical Chic’: the toe-curling tendency of well-heeled liberals to consort with revolutionaries in the hope that the glamour of violence would rub off. The phrase was coined by the journalist Tom Wolfe in a satirical article he wrote for New York magazine about a fundraising party hosted for the Black Panthers by composer Leonard Bernstein. Cage, the Islamic-focussed advocacy organisation, is the new equivalent of the Black Panthers and, for years celebrities, journalist, politicians and human rights organisations have been happy to assuage their liberal guilt and bask in the reflected glory of the Guys from Guantanamo. Vanessa Redgrave, Victoria Brittain, Peter Oborne and Sadiq Khan

MI5 didn’t make Jihadi John; he made himself

Poor Mohammed Emwazi. One day he’s your average ‘beautiful’ young man, nose buried in his computer studies books, looking for a job and looking for love. The next he’s being harassed by the security services, so intensely that — BOOM — he weeps and wails his way to the deserts of Syria where he changes his name to Jihadi John, dons an Islamic ninja outfit and starts chopping people’s heads off. Happy now, MI5? See what you did? Shame on you for pushing this studious, handsome London lad to become the Charles Manson of the Middle East. That, at least, is a rough outline of the script being hawked by

Nick Cohen

Why the apologists for the Islamist far right must make Jihadi John a victim

Islamic State allows its adherents to be both cultists and psychopaths: an L. Ron Hubbard and a Fred West rolled into one. The reasons why young men want to travel across the world to fight its wars and lend a hand to the murder of its victims ought to be brutally and boringly obvious. Psychopaths are always less complicated, less rewarding, less interesting than their victims. They’re not hard to explain. Where is the difficulty about Abelaziz Kuwan , for instance? His case opens ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan. It is a superb piece of journalism, unsparing in it analysis of the folly

Douglas Murray

Cage deserves all the scrutiny the relevant authorities can muster

So the identity of ‘Jihadi John’ appears to have come out.  And surprise surprise he is a man associated with the group Cage (formerly Cage Prisoners).  The leaders of this group – Asim Qureshi and Cerie Bullivant – have been filling the airwaves ever since the naming of their friend Mohammed Emwazi. Qureshi even appeared to shed a tear as he talked about what a ‘beautiful young man’ his friend Jihadi John is. I wonder if any scales have fallen from any eyes in the last 24 hours?  I do hope so. Cage is, after all, a group which has for years been introduced on the BBC, Channel 4 and

Ed West

Nobody will dare satirise the multiculturalism that allows Islamism to flourish

So, ‘Jihadi John’ is Mohammed Emwazi, a young Kuwaiti immigrant from Queen’s Park in north-west London, another first-rate product of the British education system. Queen’s Park is one of those very mixed areas of London; the expensive Victorian properties are filled with people who 10 years ago might have lived in Notting Hill and 10 years before that Kensington. There are also lots of scary housing estates too. It’s also part of the greatest Arabian Diaspora that extends out of Edgware Road and into the districts of Westminster and Brent; previous Jihadi John suspect Abdel Bary was an aspiring rapper from nearby Maida Vale who was last seen tweeting a picture of himself

Why does the skin colour of London’s next Mayor matter one toss, Margaret Hodge?

Shocking news belatedly reaches me that the Labour MP Margaret Hodge has pulled out of the race to become the next Mayor of London. I am not sure how London will cope without this colossus, but there we are. She said: ‘I actually think the time is right for us to have a non-white mayor.’ Oh, DO you, actually? Is it possible to be more patronising than this? Why does the colour of a candidate’s skin matter one toss, you privately-educated, minted offspring of a multi-millionaire? It may well be that the best Labour candidate for mayor – David Lammy – happens to be black. But to suggest one should