WASHINGTON – British authorities have linked Mohammed Emwazi, a Londoner identified by U.S. national security sources as “Jihadi John,” the knife-wielding militant who appeared in videos depicting the beheadings of Western hostages, to another British militant killed in Somalia in a U.S. drone attack.
A British court ruling dated December 2011 reported that Emwazi was an associate of Bilal al Berjawi, a leader of the Somali-based militant group al-Shabab, a person in possession of the court ruling said. Media reports said he helped supervise the recruitment and training of new al-Shabab members.
Berjawi was wounded in a 2011 airstrike on an al-Shabab base. That same year, British authorities revoked his British citizenship. British officials declined comment on the case.
In January 2012, Berjawi was killed in a U.S. drone strike outside Mogadishu.
According to a biographical article published in 2013 by the Combatting Terrorism Center, a research unit affiliated with the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, Berjawi was a Lebanon-born, British-educated man born in Beirut in September 1984 whose parents brought him to the United Kingdom as a child.
The article said Berjawi went to Somalia before al-Shabab was officially created and later “rose through the ranks of al-Shabaab and the foreign fighter cell linked to al Qaeda” to become a figure who was reportedly second only to the head of al-Qaida’s East Africa operations, Fazul Abdullah Mohammad.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.