Rapper turns militant

Rapper turns militant
According to British media reports yesterday, British intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6 believe the hooded man with an English accent to be 24-year-old Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, known to fellow ISIS militants as Jihadi John.

SINGAPORE - His rap music used to be played on BBC Radio 1, but he is now a suspect in the death of American journalist James Foley.

Former British rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, who is also known as L Jinny or Lyricist Jinny, posted a picture of himself holding a severed head on Twitter after resurfacing in Syria earlier this year.

The caption of the picture reads "Chillin' with my homie or what's left of him," according to The Independent.

The 23-year-old also posted a picture of himself surrounded by what appeared to be bags of bomb-making material, the Sunday People reported.

The caption accompanying the picture? "Fireworks ;)"

He has since taken down his Twitter profile, reported the Daily Mirror.

Abdel-Majed, who left his family's £1million (S$2.1 million) home in London last year to travel to Syria, is the son of Al-Qaeda terror suspect Adel Abdel Bary.

His 53-year-old father is awaiting trial in America due to his links to Osama Bin Laden and involvement in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Africa.

A senior Western intelligence official told Fox News that Abdel-Majed is the suspect believed to be Foley's executioner.

US intelligence officials said they would not comment publicly on these reports.

The Sunday Mirror, citing British intelligence sources, identified two other suspects in the case as 20-year-old Abu Hussain al-Britani, originally from Birmingham, and 23-year-old Abu Abduallah al-Britani, originally from the county of Hampshire on England's southern coast.

The Mail on Sunday reported that the three men had formed a special kidnapping gang that may have targeted Westerners like Foley.

It added that the hostages regarded the group as particularly vicious jailers who routinely beat their prisoners and tortured them with Tasers.

Violent

At one point, the paper reported that the "Beatles", as the trio were called, were prohibited from guarding the hostages due to the level of violence they inflicted.

The men also boasted that they had made millions of dollars from ransoms paid by European countries, enough to "retire to Kuwait or Qatar", as one hostage revealed.

A security source told the Daily Mail that £24 million was paid by at least four European countries for the release of 11 hostages last year.

British and US hostages were seen as being in a "different category," he said, so demands for an £80 million ransom on Mr Foley were set deliberately high as a provocation.


This article was first published on August 25, 2014.
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