As a photo of ‘Jihadi John’ – now identified as Londoner Mohammad Emwazi – emerged of his time as an innocent football-loving 11-year-old at a west London school, Prime Minister David Cameron vowed to nab such people and ‘put them out of action’.
New details emerged of Emwazi’s life in Britain and his intervational travels, spanning Kuwait, Tanzania, Syria and Amsterdam. It was revealed that intelligence agencies were aware of him for some time, amidst allegations that they failed to stop him.
Cameron defended the agencies, and said: “When there are people anywhere in the world who commit appalling and heinous crimes against British citizens, we will do everything we can with the police, with the security services, with all that we have at our disposal to find these people and put them out of action”..
As friends and family members of beheaded victims from the US and UK reacted to revelation of ‘Jihadi John’s identity, the widow of beheaded British aid worker David Haines said she wanted him caught alive.
In television interviews, widow Dragana Haines said the “last thing” she wanted for the man who had killed her husband was an “honourable death” on the battlefield, while her daughter said she wanted to see “a bullet between his eyes”.
Emwazi was a student at St Mary Magdalene Church of England primary school in Maida Vale, and later at Quintin Kynaston School in north London.
There are suggestions that Emwazi, who graduated in Information Technology from the University of Westminster in 2009, may have come into contact with extremists while he was a student there.
Student Rights, a group tackling extremism on university campuses, told BBC News it had found a number of events at the university that featured extremist Islamist preachers, and large amounts of extremist material had been shared with students.
A spokesman from the University of Westminster said it “condemned the promotion of radicalisation, terrorism and violence or threats against any member of our community”.
A spokesman for the family of beheaded US journalist Steven Sotloff said: “We want to sit in a courtroom, watch him sentenced and see him sent to a super-max prison”. The mother of another US journalist James Foley who suffered a similar fate told The Times that she forgave her son’s killer.