Former ISIS hostage identifies Foley executioner
The English jihadist who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in a gruesome video on Tuesday has been identified as a Londoner named John, The Guardian reported on Wednesday.
A former hostage who been guarded by “John” suggested that Foley’s executioner is one of three British militants purportedly responsible for guarding foreign hostages in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, a stronghold for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group.
According to the newspaper, “John” was allegedly the main negotiator earlier this year in mediations that led to the release of 11 foreign hostages that were then handed to the Turkish authorities and dispatched to their respective countries, reported the newspaper.
“John” is described by The Telegraph as an intelligent and well-educated man who is “highly committed” to ISIS.
Sources told the newspaper that “John” and his fellow hostage guards have been named “The Beatles,” in reference to the popular English pop band.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, who broke off his holiday after the video’s release, said it was “increasingly likely” that the ISIS militants who appeared in the video are British, but added that UK police is still trying to identify the killer, the BBC reported on Wednesday.
The U.S. confirmed the authenticity of the video which ISIS says response to Obama’s offensive against the militant group.
Titled “A Message To America,” the video begins with footage from earlier this month of Obama authorizing military air strikes against ISIS targets in Iraq.
Since the release of the video Tuesday, U.S. air forces have conducted 14 air strikes on ISIS militants near the Mosul Dam in Iraq, AFP reported Wednesday.
The drones and fighter jets damaged six ISIS Humvees, three sites for improvised explosive devices, one mortar tube and two armed trucks, the Central Command said in a statement released on Wednesday.