Emwazi’s journey to Jihadi John: What do the emails reveal?

Highlights from historical past

Advocacy group CAGE releases emails between “Jihadi John” and the group’s director of analysis

Mohammed Emwazi complained about his remedy by British airport safety officers and the police

Rashad Ali, director of the counter-extremism consultancy, argues that the emails don’t give the total image


It is a controversial problem that has sparked debate since officers revealed the identification of the masked man often called Jihadi John.

Was Mohammed Emwazi, the person with a British accent who appeared in quite a few ISIS beheading movies, pushed into extremism by the authorities? Or was he somebody who had been on a militant path for a very long time?

A London-based advocacy group that labored with Emwazi says the emails he despatched them paint an image of a determined man pursued by authorities who noticed his plans for a brand new life crumble as he unsuccessfully tried to get assist.

And a Each day Mail report, which additionally cites emails allegedly despatched from Emwazi to the British publication, says the Kuwaiti-born Londoner noticed himself as a “lifeless man strolling” and contemplated suicide on account of his alleged harassment by the authorities.

However some analysts say the emails are solely a part of the story, arguing that investigators focused Emwazi as a result of they already noticed him as having ties to terrorist teams.

“You’ll be able to’t begin the story of how he was handled by British officers. You definitely cannot begin the story from the e-mail path,” stated Rashad Ali, director of counter-extremism consultancy CENTRI and a fellow on the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. “We’ve to return to why the intelligence companies contacted him. As a result of he was a part of a gaggle of people that have been going to hitch Al-Shabaab, a really extremist group and a jihadist group that has been concerned in horrible terrorist assaults in Somalia”.

Emwazi felt he was being harassed by authorities and tried to hunt authorized assist to cease him, in keeping with CAGE, the Muslim and human rights group that labored with him.

An e mail particulars Emwazi’s account of his detention at a British airport, when authorities stopped him from touring to Kuwait in 2010 and questioned him for hours.

“I instructed them I would like them to depart me alone as I’ve ambitions to maneuver out of the UK and settle in Kuwait. That is why I discovered a job and a partner!! However they laughed,” Emwazi wrote in a message dated June 3, 2010.

“Certainly one of them obtained aggressive with me, pushed me in opposition to the wall. … I used to be puzzled as to why he did that after this lengthy 6-hour interview, taking fingerprints and looking. After I requested for his or her names they stated, ‘We do not give our names.’ ”

Emwazi wrote that the best way he was handled by British safety and intelligence officers reminded him “of the criminals you see on TV who’ve dedicated a severe crime, solely I used to be an individual who was by no means charged or arrested for something. I used to be an individual who was in search of begin a brand new life in my nation, Kuwait!

That is a key element, CAGE spokeswoman Amandla Thomas-Johnson stated.

“If somebody goes to hold out any violent assault in any approach, then the regulation is there to be in place and apprehend them,” he stated. “Within the UK, he was not arrested or prosecuted or cautioned in any approach.”

British authorities didn’t reply to CNN’s requests for touch upon the case.

Within the emails, Emwazi pleaded for CAGE’s assist.

“Please assist me as a result of I do not wish to keep within the UK as a result of I discovered a job in Kuwait, I discovered a partner in Kuwait and I discovered a brand new begin for my life in Kuwait. Kuwait is the place I am from, I used to be born from them. I simply wish to go there and begin my new life once more!!”

Emwazi wrote that he additionally lodged a proper criticism with the Impartial Police Complaints Fee, earlier than going into element about how he was apparently “assaulted by the police officer” as he tried to depart for Kuwait.

Nevertheless it was a troublesome criticism to show, Thomas-Johnson stated.

“The IPCC says there isn’t any digital camera within the room the place this occurred, so there’s not a lot we are able to do besides put a black mark in opposition to the officer,” he stated. “These items occur within the shadows and at midnight. So it’s totally troublesome to independently confirm as soon as it is occurred. There’s not a lot alternative to get redress and accountability.”

Particulars of the court docket paperwork reported within the British media paint a distinct image. They are saying Emwazi was a part of a gaggle of extremists generally known as the “North London Boys” who allegedly funneled cash and recruits to Al-Shabaab.

The Guardian reported that Emwazi was a part of a terrorist cell linked to the failed London bombings in 2005. For British authorities, his face had been acquainted for greater than 5 years.

However authorities misplaced monitor of him in 2013, mates stated. He modified his identify and left for Syria.

Analysts who’ve studied ISIS recruitment say they don’t purchase the argument that harassment by authorities turned Emwazi into “Jihadi John.”

“I believe that is an absurd declare,” stated Peter Neumann, director of the Worldwide Middle for the Examine of Radicalization. “It was not the reason for his radicalization. The rationale the intelligence companies harassed him was as a result of they suspected he was attempting to hitch Al Shabaab in Somalia.”

Ali argued that abuse by the hands of officers is not any excuse for terrorism.

“Folks do not flip round, after they’re harassed and have grievances, and so they grow to be terrorists,” he stated.

Along with the emails launched by CAGE, one other sequence of emails from Emwazi got here to gentle over the weekend. The messages have been despatched in 2010 and 2011 to the Each day Mail’s safety editor, Robert Verkaik.

The Each day Mail printed excerpts of these exchanges, together with Emwazi’s description of an incident wherein he tried to promote his laptop computer via an internet site, however gave solely his final identify.

When he met a possible purchaser in a London tube station, he says the particular person he met shook his hand and stated, “Good to do enterprise with you, Mohammed.”


He additionally hinted at suicidal ideas. “Typically I really feel like I am a lifeless man strolling, with out worry of being killed.

“Relatively, fearing that someday, I’ll take as many tablets as I can to sleep perpetually!! I simply wish to get away from these individuals!!!”

Verkaik stated he met Emwazi in 2010 when he was investigating his claims of being harassed by police and intelligence.

Emwazi’s considerations bordered on paranoia, Verkaik wrote, and she or he desperately needed her story to be instructed.

“Like many younger Muslims on the time, he appeared to have a grievance. However this man was completely different,” Verkaik wrote. “There was a warped sense of injustice in him that would by no means justify the barbaric acts of homicide that he went on to hold out in Syria.”

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