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UNMASKED: Just How ‘Well-Known’ Was Jihadi John Prior To Staged ISIS Beheadings?

Shawn Helton
21st Century Wire 

Authorities now believe that the terror host seen fronting the heavily staged ISIS ‘beheading’ videos is a British computer programmer who apparently left to join ISIS militants in Syria around 2013.

This past Thursday, the identity of the infamous ISIS front man dubbed ‘Jihadi John’ by British press, has been allegedly revealed, as security services have named 27-year-old British citizen, Mohammad Emwazi from West London.

The timing of this information should be looked at very closely, as war profiteers will most likely look to turn this recent revelation into a pretext for a larger conflict in war-torn Iraq and Syria. It could also be used as a way to create new anti-terror measures in the ramp up to future war campaigns.

Perhaps the most telling detail about the recent unmasking of Jihadi John, is the fact that British security services had ‘already’ known the man now being accused as being the face behind the cloaked ISIS villian…

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IMAGE: ‘Jihadi John Unmasked?’ – Mohammed Emwazi, on the left, had long been known to British security services prior to being named as the ISIS video villain Jihadi John. (Photo link skynews.com)

From West London to Syria

Reports state that Mohammed Emwazi, grew up in a well-to-do family within West London after having been born in Kuwait in August of 1988. Emwazi’s family relocated to the UK when he turned six years of age, long before joining the black-clad Sunni militant group ISIS.

He was educated at the recently scandal plagued institutionQuintin Kynaston School in St John’s Wood, before graduating with a computer programming degree from the University of Westminster in 2009.

Sometime after graduating, Emwazi was placed under the microscope and targeted for recruitment by Britain’s main intelligence agency MI5, after a planned safari in Tanzania in May of 2009.

Emwazi was promptly detained when he, along with two other friends, a German convert to Islam named Omar and another man named Abu Talib, landed in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in May of 2009, according to initial reports. The men were detained overnight and then deported back to the UK by way of Amsterdam.


IMAGE: ‘QK’ – The Quintin Kynaston school where Mohammed Emwazi was educated in his youth. (Photo link huffpost.com)

Terror & the security apparatus

The mysterious nature of Emwazi’s detention in 2009 has been unraveling over the past few days, with reports suggesting the young programmer could have been coerced into a life of Jihad, as explained here by the Guardian:

“Emwazi alleged he was threatened with beatings by gun-toting members of Tanzania’s security forces who made it clear they were not acting on behalf of their government…

“Emwazi was put on a plane to the Netherlands, where he said he was questioned by an MI5 agent named “Nick” who accused him of wanting to fight in Somalia, where the militant group al-Shabaab operates in the southern part of the country.”

As the report continued, the alleged pressurization of Emwazi was exposed:

“In emails, Emwazi said the British agent knew “everything about me; where I lived, what I did, and the people I hanged around with”. The agent then, it is claimed, attempted to “turn” Emwazi, asking: “Why don’t you work for us?”

“When he refused to help, MI5 said “life would be harder for you”. Emwazi was put on a ferry to Dover and then further questioned by police, who told him they had contacted his fiancee. She later broke off their engagement.”

It was also stated that Emwazi had spoken to police and security services, “three times in a year, and that senior members of the security services may be called to provide evidence to the Intelligence and Security Committee about MI5’s contact with Emwazi. In a revealing report by the Daily Mail in mid-September, it seems British security services decided to withhold crucial information involving the ‘identity’ of Jihadi John so that a potential hostage rescue mission wouldn’t be jeopardized:

Jihadi John was known to MI5 before he travelled to Syria to join the barbaric Islamic State.

Security officials have now identified the Briton who played a key role in the murder videos of UK aid worker David Haines and two American journalists.

But his name and background are being kept secret to avoid jeopardising any hostage rescue missions.”

With many blanks being filled in with regards to the apparent identity of “Jihadi John” over the past 72 hours, it’s important to mention the fact that the intelligence community had been sitting on this information for 6 months – seemingly without having ‘rescued’ any alleged hostages.

No doubt after the initial wave of reports surrounding this story, authorities will come forward with tales of ‘failed’ clandestine rescue attempts for some of Jihadi John’s alleged victims or those said to have been held ISIS in a nearby area.

The fact that security agencies withheld Jihadi John’s identity for so long, means that the secrecy could have ‘cost lives’. Based on the official narrative and timeline of events of these infamous videos, it’s believed that Jihadi John is responsible for the alleged deaths of at least four victims, along with another suspected 21 Syrian soldiers.

Will the media re-spin this to claim that even more lives could have been in danger if his identity had been officially released earlier?

Either way, the public should be very concerned about the cover-up of Emwazi’s identity and the initial lack of transparency regarding his ties to British intelligence and the whitewashing of their relationship over the next several weeks.

Former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell, who presides on the ISC, said that the case of Emwazi was reminiscent of the recently jailed Woolwich slashers, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, who also had ties to security services prior to their apparent violent attack in the streets of London in 2013.

We will explore the similarities between the Emwazi case and other MI5 linked cases later in this report.

According to the Washington Post, who originally broke the controversial Emwazi story, US authorities were also well aware of Jihadi John’s identity:

“Authorities have used a variety of investigative techniques, including voice analysis and interviews with former hostages, to try to identify Jihadi John. James B. Comey, the director of the FBI, said in September — only a month after the Briton was seen in a video killing American journalist James Foley — that officials believed they had succeeded.”

This past September, FBI director Comey, had preemptively prepared the public about the eventual unmasking of Jihadi John when he stated, “I believe we have identified him,”  narrowing down the investigation to that of a specific suspect.

In another excerpt from the Daily Mail, an as of yet unnamed source, stated that Emwazi had joined up with other militant groups prior joining ISIS:

“The son of a minicab driver, he was reported to have occasionally prayed at a mosque in Greenwich, south-east London.”

“A source who claims to have met with Emwazi in Syria told Channel 4 news that they believed Emwazi initially joined the Migrants Brigade or Mujahideen in 2012.”

“Emwazi was believed to have been based in Syria’s Idlib Province and then outside Aleppo, before going on to join Al-Nusra and finally ISIS.”

Other reports suggest that security services were not able keep track of Emwazi when he relocated to Syria, because of the recently abolished anti-terror control orders in the UK.

Perhaps the Daily Mail piece quoted above could provide a clue, in terms of how much the intelligence community knew prior to Emwazi being involved in the heavily orchestrated ISIS beheading videos.

All of this prompts one to ask: How did intelligence agencies specifically identify ‘Jihadi John’ last September, given the fact that the terror persona was seen masked in every video appearance?

While authorities have claimed that they have pinned down Jihadi John’s identity through voice identification. All of the audio associated with the Jihadi John videos appeared to display some tampering with the speaker’s natural voice, as deep bass, low-cut audio enhancement can be heard coupled with other slight background texture – which would make an identification process extremely difficult. How can the authorities claim to have ID’d the video character of ‘Jihadi John’, their alleged perpetrator, based solely on a ‘voice match’ which could easily have been over-dubbed on top of a video?

Also another element to consider: Since authorities had already claimed to have known the true identity of Jihadi John back in September – could it be possible that all of videos featuring him were filmed in one location back-to-back, with each video timed for release, depicting the next alleged victim for effect?

It has already been shown that most of these early ISIS videos were actually filmed in a studio with a green screen.


IMAGE: ‘CAGE’ – Advocacy group CAGE during a press conference following the apparent release of Jihadi John’s identity. (Photo link guardian.com)

CAGE & other concerns

The London-based advocacy organization CAGE, formerly Cageprisoners Ltd, claims to have been in contact with Emwazi after his alleged detention by British authorities in 2009 exchanging several emails back and forth.

Research director Asim Qureshi, (seen above) claims that Emwazi was harrased by UK security services based on a series of communications, that eventually led to him being radicalized.

CAGE has stated that the following email was from Emwazi:

“I have been trying to find out the reason for my refused visa issue from my home country Kuwait, and a way to solve the issue. So through my friends in Kuwait, it has been said to me that Kuwait has no problem with me entering, and the reason for my refusal is simply because the UK agents have told them to not let me in!”

In 2013, Emwazi sought to change his name so that he could travel to Kuwait according to reports.

The human rights group CAGE, has long been under fire for its associations with suspected terrorists, as its Director, Moazzam Begg, is a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was released without being charged in 2005. 

CAGE’s controversial background with its past associations to known terror suspects, seems to be contradictory to the group’s ‘human rights’ concerns.

Perhaps their involvement provides the perfect scapegoat for UK authorities to redirect and polarize the perception of Jihadi John’s identity and by the looks of it – this is already happening.


IMAGE: ‘Queen’s Park Flat’ – Mohammed Emwazi’s most recent residence in London. (Photo link dailymail.co.uk)

The ‘unmasking’ of Jihadi John & MI5’s involvement

Interestingly, Emwazi lived in the well-to-do area of London called Maida Vale prior to leaving for war stricken Syria. He lived very close by the first Jihadi John suspect, rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary.

This was confirmed in a recent report by London’s Telegraph:

“It has now emerged that the pair grew up just streets apart from each in west London and one expert last night claimed it made sense that they could both be members of the kidnap group known as ‘The Beatles’.”

“The Beatles reference came from previously released hostages because their captors all spoke with English accents.”

Intelligence agencies long suspected that Jihadi John was not the only Briton in the group holding Western hostages, many of who have been murdered.”

It turns out that the pair had a longtime relationship, living just streets apart and were known as the “London Boys,” which featured a network fanatics in West London according to reports.

Emwazi had “fled the gaze of MI5” in early 2013 to head for Syria, around the same time Bary disappeared from London. 


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IMAGE: ‘Affluent Life’ – A tweet from investigative reporter Henk van Ess, who is said to be a ‘tech and web expert’ that specializes in new media and social media, revealed an address associated with Emwazi. (Photo link twitter.com)

How did intelligence services know so much about these men prior to them joining ISIS?

Additionally, why would British surveillance on the pair and others associated with the ‘Beatles’ group suddenly stop – as soon as they headed for Syria?

Other curious clues about the connection between Bary and Emwazi were also revealed:

According to the London-based think-tank Quilliam Foundation, it would make sense that the pair would be linked in the same group in Syria.

The Quilliam Foundation focuses on counter-extremism in the UK. Many critics of  Quilliam have suggested the foundation has some controversial bed fellows, due to their close affiliation with the Council on Foreign Relations and their connection to the Henry Jackson Society which has been associated with other neoconservative think-tanks.

In the US, many neoconservative republicans have been in favor of escalating the conflict in Syria and Quilliam’s involvement could be seen as another group behind the scenes designing a particular outcome for Western interests.

In summary: Given the fact that both Bary and Emwazi were in such close proximity to one another and security services knew so much about them, is it possible that both men have been actively working for MI5 or other security agencies?


IMAGE: ‘Stage-managed terror’ – Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary previously suspected to be Jihadi John (Photo dnd.com)

Jihadi rapper & the Woolwich slasher

In late August of 2014, the Daily Mail reported London rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, as being the key suspect in the first series of ISIS beheading videos that were released – without any forensic proof.

According to reports, he was quickly identified by MI5 as the main suspect in a series of high-profile beheadings. The former rapper also left his affluent West London family home, relocating to join militants within proxy ravaged Syria, after being lured by the contemptible preacher Anjem Choudarywho along with Omar Bakri, founded the terror labeled organization, Al-Muhajiroun. 

The banned terror group was known to be a recruitment tool by British intelligence as reported by The Guardian in 2005.

In September of 2014, Bary was featured in a Sunday Mirror (seen pictured above) article, where he claimed to have been he was captured and tortured while fighting with an Islamic terror group in Syria. This is an interesting but long forgotten detail in the ISIS saga – one that might suggest that Bary could have been used as an informant after having undergone rendition or another kind of government sponsored abduction. 

Bary’s father, is stated to have been an Islamic extremist named Adel Abdul Bary, and was known as one of Osama Bin Laden’s closest lieutenants, according to US authorities – inextricably tying the Bary family to intelligence operations based on Bin Laden’s history.

There have been other theatrical cases pushing the terror narrative for the military industrial complex in recent years…


IMAGE: ‘Mass Media Terror’ – Michael Adebolajo was named as one of the attackers in the death of a British soldier. (Photo link dailymail.com)

In May of 2013, 21WIRE covered the highly suspicious attack on British soldier Drummer Lee Rigby  said to have been carried out by meat clever-wielding Michael Adebolajo and close associate Michael Adebowal. The media, along with the security services, made quick work connecting the suspects in Woolwich to Al-Muhajiroun.

Adebolajo was arrested in Kenyan 2010 after apparent plans to travel to Somalia to join terror group Al-Shabaab. Other reports have suggested that Adebolajo was sent by UK security services to Somalia to work for the terror network al Qaeda.

Most shockingly however, the attacker’s childhood friend and BBC Newsnight guest, Abu Nusaybah, said Adebolajo was ‘harassed’ and ‘tortured’ by MI5 agents in Kenya in 2010. The inference here is that the harrassment drove Adebolajo to become ‘radicalized’.

Additionally, it’s been said that Adebolajo’s brother Jeremiah had also been recruited as a spy by MI6 and paid thousands by the agency according to the Daily Mail and had been tasked to ‘turn’ his brother to work for MI5:

“The younger brother of one of the men accused of murdering Drummer Lee Rigby was paid thousands of pounds by MI6 as part of spying operations in the Middle East, The Mail on Sunday has discovered.”

Jeremiah Adebolajo, who uses the name Abul Jaleel, was also asked to help ‘turn’ his brother, Michael, to work for MI5, who were already aware of Michael’s close links to extremist groups.”

Here we see a perfect example how security services pressure one into working for their organization for a larger geopolitical agenda. Emwazi’s story certainly seems to display all the same signs – a possible rendition, a partially erased identity and perceived radicalization without hard evidence.

The release of Jihadi John’s identity should be questioned and treated with skepticism, as the entire ISIS story line appears to reveal more unanswered questions by the day…

READ MORE ISIS NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire ISIS Files