Friday 30 September 2016

'Killing of barbaric Jihadi John was right thing to do' - David Cameron

Published 13/11/2015 | 06:18

Emwazi, a Londoner nicknamed as Jihadi John is believed to have played a central role in a series of beheading videos
Emwazi, a Londoner nicknamed as Jihadi John is believed to have played a central role in a series of beheading videos

Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed the reported killing of the British terrorist known as Jihadi John in an air strike by US military as "a strike at the heart" of terror group Islamic State (IS).

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Mr Cameron said it had not yet been confirmed that Mohammed Emwazi - who he branded a "barbaric murderer" - was dead.

But he said Britain had been working "hand in glove" round the clock with its closest ally the US to track down and target the militant, who is believed to be responsible for the deaths of several IS hostages, including Britons Alan Henning and David Haines.

In a statement outside 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister said that Emwazi had remained a threat to innocent people, including in the UK.

A woman has been arrested by Spanish police investigating an alleged plot to recruit teenagers to travel to territory occupied by Islamic State
A woman has been arrested by Spanish police investigating an alleged plot to recruit teenagers to travel to territory occupied by Islamic State

And he said: "This was an act of self defence. It was the right thing to do."

The British Prime Minister spoke as IS militant Mohammed Emwazi, known as Jihadi John, has been killed in a 'flawless clean hit', US Forces claim.

The Pentagon is assessing whether the extremist was killed in the military action carried out in Syria but military experts believe he is unlikely to have survive the attempt on his life.

It is being reported Jihadi John was 'evaporated' by the US drone strike.

Emwazi came to notoriety in a video in August 2014 which showed the beheading of US journalist James Foley.

He also appeared in videos showing the killings of UK hostages Alan Henning and David Haines, American journalist Steven Sotloff, aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig and Japanese journalists Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa shortly before they were killed.

A US official told the Associated Press a drone had been used to carry out the attack on a vehicle in Raqqa which was believed to be carrying Emwazi.

READ MORE: Timeline of a terrorist: How Jihadi John became one of the most wanted men in the world

Mohammed Emwazi - also known as Jihadi John
Mohammed Emwazi - also known as Jihadi John

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: "We are aware of the US statement about the airstrike targeting Mohammed Emwazi. Like them, we are not commenting further at this stage."

READ MORE: Behind the mask: Jihadi John's beheading videos shocked the world

Mr Haines, an aid worker from Scotland, was executed in September last year, having been held captive for 18 months.

His daughter Bethany later said she felt families of Emwazi's victims would only feel closure "once there's a bullet between (his) eyes".

READ MORE: Jihadi John forced Isil hostage to dance the Tango

A video released a month later showed 47-year-old Salford taxi driver Mr Henning appearing to be beheaded.

His daughter Lucy said she found out he had been killed when she saw an image posted on social media site Instagram.

Emwazi appeared in the videos dressed in black with only his eves visible, and spoke with a British accent as he went on anti-western rants to the camera while wielding a knife.

It was not until February this year that the jihadist was unmasked as Kuwaiti-born Emwazi, who lived in the UK since the age of six.

It emerged that Emwazi had been known to British intelligence services, but managed to travel to Syria in 2013.

Meanwhile, users of Twitter have taken to the platform to react to the news.

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