FBI identifies ISIS hostage executioner

2014-09-26 07:41
Steven Sotloff (AP)

Steven Sotloff (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The United States has identified the masked Islamic State militant who murdered two kidnapped American journalists in separate videotaped beheadings, FBI chief James Comey said on Thursday.

The jihadist organisation triggered global outrage when it released videos of a man with a British accent killing first James Foley then Steven Sotloff, freelance journalists who were kidnapped in Syria.

"We believe we have identified the executioner," Comey told reporters at a briefing in Washington. "I won't tell you who it is."

The British ambassador in Washington, Sir Peter Westmacott, had previously said that the allies were close to identifying the suspect.

Propaganda film

Comey did not confirm or deny reports that the suspect in the killing is British, but said the FBI was concerned that another film from the Islamic State group features someone with a North American accent.

Flames of War - a slickly produced propaganda video aimed at intimidating Western audiences and recruiting English-speaking fighters - was released earlier this month.

It features a masked militant in combat fatigues speaking in English.

"There's no doubt that there's someone speaking with a North American-accented English on that video, so that's a big focus of ours right now," Comey said.

In addition to murdering two US hostages and a Briton, the Islamic State group has seized a large tract of territory spanning eastern Syria and northwestern Iraq, in a brutal and bloody campaign.

On 8 August, President Barack Obama ordered air strikes against the group in Iraq, and this week expanded the campaign - backed by Arab allies - to hit ISIS targets across the border in Syria.

US authorities expect a long conflict against the group of at least three years, and have expressed concerns that hundreds of Muslims from Europe or the Americas have joined the group.

There are fears in Western capitals that battle-hardened fighters may return from the field and launch attacks in their homelands.

Read more on:    fbi  |  isis  |  steven sotloff  |  james foley  |  us

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
31 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.