The Islamic State group confirmed on Tuesday the death of British jihadist “Jihadi John”, saying he was killed in a drone strike in their Syrian stronghold of Raqa in November.
Born Mohammed Emwazi, he was known as the executioner of the jihadist group appearing masked in a string of videos showing the beheadings of Western hostages.
In its online magazine Dabiq, the group said Emwazi was killed on November 12 “as the car he was in was targeted in a strike by an unmanned drone in the city of Raqa, destroying the car and killing him instantly”.
The US military had said at the time that it was “reasonably certain” he had been killed in the strike.
Emwazi became the public face of Islamic State and a symbol of its brutality after appearing in videos showing the murders of US journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, U.S. aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto and other hostages.
Shown in the videos dressed in black, a balaclava covering all but his eyes and the bridge of his nose, Emwazi became one of the world’s most wanted men.
Born in Kuwait in 1988, Emwazi was taken to Britain by his family when he was 6 years old and graduated in computer programming in London.
The US-British missile strike believed to have killed him was months in the preparation but came together at lightning speed last November as two U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drones and one British MQ-9 cruised above the Syrian town of Raqqa, according to U.S. officials.