British intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6 have identified the man suspected of the horrific beheading of American journalist James Foley, according to UK media reports.
The hooded man with an English accent is believed to be 23-year-old Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, known to fellow Islamic State militants as Jihadi John.
The Sunday Times newspaper said Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, from Maida Vale in West London, had become a crucial part of the investigation.
The paper attributed the information to “senior government sources.”
The former rapper left his family home in an affluent west London suburb last year to fight in the civil war in Syria.
The son of an Egyptian-born militant who is awaiting trial on terror charges in New York tied to the deadly 1998 bombings of embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
recently tweeted a photo of himself holding up a severed head — was among three Brits identified as possibly being the masked killer known as “John”.
In June, The Sunday Times revealed a threat made by Bary on Twitter. “The lions are coming for you soon you filthy kuffs (infidels),” he wrote. “Beheadings in your own backyard soon.”
Bary, who went to Syria last year to fight in its bloody civil war, has a build, skin tone and accent all similar to those of “John,” according to The Telegraph.
He was previously an aspiring rapper known as “L Jinny,” whose music was played on BBC Radio 1 in the UK.
Bary also appeared in music videos posted on YouTube for songs titled Overdose, Flying High and Dreamer.
He was reportedly radicalised by followers of firebrand Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary and walked out of his family’s plush West London home last year, saying he was “leaving everything for the sake of Allah.”
Latest news headlines