I don’t want to become like these savages, so I don’t wish this man dead, but I’d like him to spend the rest of his life in a tiny cell thinking about all the bad things he has done to people. I don’t believe he will have the welcome he is thinking he is going to get when he arrives in his heaven. AVB
Ken Dilanian, Associated Press
Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014
The U.S. believes it has identified the British-accented masked man in the videos depicting the beheadings of two American journalists and a British aid worker, the FBI director says.
FBI Director James Comey told reporters at its headquarters he would not reveal the man’s name or nationality.
Comey did not address whether the U.S. believes the man actually carried out the killings himself. The beheadings are not shown in the videos.
In the three videos, the man speaks British-accented English. He holds a long knife and appears to begin cutting the three men, American reporters James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines.
The masked man has been dubbed “Jihadi John” because he reportedly calls himself John. He is the ring-leader of a group of three British jihadists dubbed “The Beatles,” according to testimony from a hostage released by ISIS kidnappers.
Earlier this week, British foreign secretary Philip Hammond reportedly claimed that U.K. intelligence agencies were “getting warm” and “narrowing down the field.”
In late August, British Ambassador Peter Westmacott said his country was close to identifying the ISIS militant.
“I do know from my colleagues at home that we are close,” he said. “But forgive me if I can’t go much further than that at this point.”
Westmacott said investigators were trying to match the killer’s voice against recordings of known British militants now in Syria and Iraq.
“We’re putting out a great deal of resource into identifying this person,” he said. “And there are some very sophisticated technologies, voice identification and so on, which people can use to check who these people are.”
A former CIA agent who has analyzed execution videos told The Telegraph that now that the masked man has been identified, U.S. and U.K. security services can start to “identify his network of confederates, perhaps finding new links back to the West.”
“The easy part was identifying the man in black. Now that intelligence services reportedly have a name to match, the hard part will be tracking him down and bringing him to justice,” Aki Peritz said. “He’s probably somewhere in Syria right now- since we’re now bombing that country, his personal safety is not assured anymore. The importance is not taking out the man in black. It’s about shutting down the whole network.”
With files from The Telegraph