FBI Director James Comey said Thursday that bureau analysts think they have identified the man who appears as the executioner in Islamic State videos of the beheadings of two Americans and a Briton who were kidnapped in Syria.
The FBI will withhold the suspect’s name for the time being, Comey said.
The executioner, dubbed “Jihad John,” is seen in the videos of the decapitations of U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines.
“John” is heard speaking English with what is thought to be a London accent.
U.K. media have been reporting that London’s intelligence services were focusing on a 24-year-old British citizen named Abdel Majed Abdel Bari as the likely IS executioner.
The suspect was only 6 years old when his father, Adel Abdel Bari, was arrested for involvement in al Qaeda’s 1998 attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Abdel Bari made several rap music videos under the handle “L Jinny,” some featuring lyrics that mentioned his father.
The aspiring hip-hop artist then disappeared before resurfacing with a Twitter post accompanied by a photo of himself with a severed human head. EFE