'Jihadi John' contemplated suicide in 2010 - report

2015-03-01 09:18
'Jihadi John' with journalist Steven Sotloff just moments before Sotloff was killed. (file, AP)

'Jihadi John' with journalist Steven Sotloff just moments before Sotloff was killed. (file, AP)

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

London - The man believed to be Islamic State executioner "Jihadi John" told a journalist four years ago that surveillance by British security services had left him contemplating suicide.

Mohammed Emwazi, named by media and experts as the militant thought to have beheaded at least five Western hostages held by the IS group, told the Mail on Sunday reporter that he felt like a "dead man walking".

Harassment

A British civil rights group that was in contact with Emwazi, Cage, claims that domestic spy agency MI5 had been tracking him since at least 2009, and blamed his radicalisation on their "harassment".

Prime Minister David Cameron and a former head of foreign spy agency MI6 strongly rejected the idea, while London mayor Boris Johnson accused Cage of an "apology for terror".

In an e-mail to Mail on Sunday reporter Robert Verkaik, dated 14 December 2010, Emwazi described how he sold his laptop to someone he met online who he subsequently came to believe was with the security services.

"Sometimes I feel like I'm a dead man walking, not fearing they may kill me. Rather, fearing that one day, I'll take as many pills as I can that I can sleep forever!! I just want to get away from these people!!!" Emwazi wrote.

Emwazi was born in Kuwait but moved to London when he was a child and attended school and university in the capital.

The Daily Telegraph reported this weekend that he went to high school with two other boys who went onto become militants - Choukri Ellekhlifi, who was killed fighting in Syria, and Mohammed Sakr, killed fighting in Somalia.

Radicalisation

A spokesperson for the British department for education said on Saturday that it had launched a review into how Quintin Kynaston school in north London dealt with radicalisation "to see if there are any lessons we can learn".

It was also reported that Emwazi had contacts with the men responsible for failed attacks on London's public transport system in 2005, two weeks after suicide bombings killed 52 people in the capital.

All the revelations add to pressure on the security and intelligence agencies to explain why they did not act on their suspicions about Emwazi before he travelled to Syria.

Cameron on Friday defended their actions, saying they have to make "incredibly difficult judgements, and I think basically they make very good judgements".

Read more on:    isis

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
18 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
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.