Is ‘New Jehadi John’ a British Indian born Hindu converted to Islam?
The man threatening Britain in the latest Islamic State video – dubbed “New Jehadi John” – is suspected to be Siddhartha Dhar, a British Indian who converted to Islam and moved to Syria in 2014.
However, there is no official confirmation of his identity yet.
His sister, Konika Dhar, told the media on Monday that if indeed the man is her brother, “I am going to kill him myself. He is going to come back and I’m going to kill him if he has done this.” She further said she was in a state of shock.
Konika, based in Edmonton, London, told The Independent: “I believed the audio to resemble, from what I remember, the voice of my brother but having viewed the short clip in detail, I wasn’t entirely convinced which put me at ease.”
Known to security services, Siddhartha is reported to be a former salesman based in Walthamstow, London. His name after conversion is Abu Rumaysah. He has been supportive of the Islamic State for some time, and went to Syria in November 2014.
As the focus of the investigation into the video is on Siddhartha, his past has been recalled in several accounts, from his joining the radical group, Al-Mahajiroun, to attending demonstrations in London against the US and Israel.
Amid the focus on Siddhartha, a London-based Nigeria-origin grandfather, Henry Dare, confirmed the boy seen making threats in the video was his grandson Isa, whose mother converted to Islam and moved to Syria.
Henry Dare told Channel 4 News: “I can’t disown him. He’s my grandson. I know him very well.”
Prime Minister David Cameron has described the IS video as “desperate stuff” from an organisation that was losing territory.
He said: “It’s desperate stuff from an organisation that really does do the most utterly despicable and ghastly acts and people can see that again today. But this is an organisation that’s losing territory, it’s losing ground, it’s, I think, increasingly losing anybody’s sympathy, and this again shows what an appalling organisation we’re up against.”
Cemeron said the IS hated Britain for being a “successful, tolerant, democratic, multi-faith, multi-ethnic nation”, and added: “But I know that Britain will never be cowed by this sort of terrorism. Our values are so much stronger than theirs. It may take a very long time but they will be defeated.”