U.S., Britain Target 'Jihadi John' With Air Strike In Syria - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |


U.S., Britain Target 'Jihadi John' With Air Strike In Syria

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Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday that Britain "can't yet be certain" an airstrike in Syria had killed the British man known as "Jihadi John," who participated in the beheading videos of two American journalists and the slayings of several other captives, according to the Pentagon.

On Thursday, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said Mohamed Emwazi was the intended target of a U.S. drone strike the same day in Raqqa, the self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Pentagon news release

Cameron said if proven, Emwazi's death would be a significant blow to ISIS.

He said British officials had "been working with the U.S. around the clock to track him down. This was a combined effort."

Calling the strike an "act of self defense," Cameron described Emwazi as "a barbaric murderer" who posed a threat to people in Syria, "and those around the world."

"I want to thank the U.S... thank those in the intelligence agencies," said Cameron.

The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on an extensive network of opposition activists and fighters on the ground in Syria for information, said earlier Friday that all signs indicated Emwazi had been killed.

Local activists reported multiple explosions in Raqqa near an ISIS "court" Thursday night, targeting a vehicle, where they believe he was killed.

Emwazi has been described by a former hostage as a bloodthirsty psychopath who enjoyed threatening Western hostages. Spanish journalist Javier Espinosa, who had been held in Syria for more than six months after his abduction in September 2013, said Emwazi would explain precisely how the militants would carry out a beheading.

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 ISIS hostages.
The 27-year-old's identity was confirmed in February by U.S. intelligence officials. Emwazi grew up in West London and graduated in 2009 from the University of Westminster with a degree in computer science.

Officials said Britain's intelligence community had Emwazi on its list of potential terror suspects for years but was unable to prevent him from traveling to Syria.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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