MI5 and MI6 have identified the British fighter suspected of murdering the American journalist James Foley, senior government sources confirmed last night to The Sunday Times.
The masked man with a London accent, who is said to be known to fellow fighters as “Jihadi John”, was seen in the video of Foley’s death released by Islamic State last week.
A British hip-hop artist has emerged as a key suspect in the hunt for the killer of the US journalist James Foley.
Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 23, from Maida Vale, west London, is understood to have become a crucial part of investigations by counterterrorism police and MI5.
Bary is the son of an Egyptian-born militant Adel Abdul Bary, who is awaiting trial on terror charges in New York tied to the deadly 1998 bombings of embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Former hostages held by ISIS have said he is one of several jihadists they nicknamed “the Beatles” due to their British accents, with two of his cronies referred to as “George” and “Ringo.”
Before becoming a jihadist, he was an aspiring rapper known as “L Jinny,” whose music was played on BBC Radio 1.
In his most recent video, titled ‘The Beginning,’ Bary idolizes his father.
“Give me the pride and the honour like my father, I swear the day they came and took my dad, I could have killed a cop or two,” raps Bary. “Imagine then I was only six, picture what I’d do now with a loaded stick. Like boom bang fine, I’m wishing you were dead, violate my brothers and I’m filling you with lead.”
He was reportedly radicalised by followers of firebrand Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary and walked out of his family’s plush West London home last year, saying he was “leaving everything for the sake of Allah.”
Bary, who went to Syria last year to fight in its bloody civil war, has a build, skin tone and accent all similar to those of “John,” according to The Telegraph.
In June, The Sunday Times revealed a threat made by Bary on Twitter. “The lions are coming for you soon you filthy kuffs (infidels),” he wrote. “Beheadings in your own backyard soon.”
Earlier this month, he was seen in a photo posted to Twitter wearing camouflage clothing and a black balaclava while holding a severed head.
Also under investigation are Abu Hussain al-Britani, 20, a computer hacker from Birmingham, and Abu Abdullah al-Britani, in his 20s, from Portsmouth, the Daily Mail reported.
Abu Hussain al-Britani was jailed in 2012 for stealing personal information from former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Since joining ISIS’ brutal campaign in Syria al-Britani, real name Junaid Hussian aka TriCk of , has worked to fund the Islamic State war chest by mounting jihadist cyber attacks on British banks and celebrities.
Abu Abdullah al-Britani, meanwhile, is active on social media using Twitter to post pro-Islamic State propaganda. He is believed to be behind an account on the ask.fm social media site giving young people advice on how to travel to Syria and Iraq and encouraging them to join the jihad.