Monday, September 8, 2014

Global Impact: UK-Based "Daily Mirror" Says It is 99.9% Certain of IS Militant Who Beheaded Foley

According to Fox NewsUS and British intelligence officials know the identity of the IS militant seen in the now-infamous video of US journalist James Foley's beheading and are closing in on a dozen members of the jihadist's support network in the UK, according to a published report. 

The Daily Mirror reported Monday (September 8) that US intelligence analysts have used facial recognition technology to provide an image of the militant known as "John," based solely on the man's eyes.
"We are 99.9% certain now as to who "John" is," a US source told the paper, "but investigators have had to tread softly in charting and approaching his wider network in the UK," British intelligence officials told the paper that they would reveal the man's true identity "within days."
COMMENT: "John" came to global prominence in the video depicting Foley's beheading that was released on August 19. Speaking in a British accent with a distinct London inflection, "John" addressed President Barack Obama, saying that Foley's death was in response to airstrikes carried out by the US against IS in Iraq. 
THE DAILY MIRROR also reported that intelligence officials believe they have identified the other two main members of the quartet of British-born IS fighters known among hostages as "The Beatles." The group has beheaded Foley and fellow US-Israeli dual national Steven Sotloff and has threatened to kill British hostage David Haines. 
It is not clear whether "John" actually carried out Foley's beheading or whether his appearance in the video was strictly for propaganda purposes. A similar video shows a masked militant beheading Sotloff, but it is also not clear that he and "John" are the same person. 
Meanwhile, THE DAILY MIRROR reported that a team of FBI agents had traveled to Britain last month and, working with British police, had identified twelve suspects who helped "John" by providing him with money and contacts, as well as assisting him with travel to Syria. 
THE DAILY MIRROR reported that the suspects are all British and most of them are based in the West Midlands of England. Some of them are already known to British security officials, having been linked to previously foiled terror attacks on the UK.