Tags: Barack Obama | Emerging Threats | War on Terrorism | ISIS | ISIS beheadings | terrorists | Steven Sotloff

Ex-British Navy Chief: ISIS Killer a 'Dead Man Walking'

Image: Ex-British Navy Chief: ISIS Killer a 'Dead Man Walking' (EPA/Landov)

Wednesday, 03 Sep 2014 11:57 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

The savage jihadist executioner who beheaded two American journalists and has threatened to kill a British citizen is a “dead man walking,” says the former head of the Navy in the United Kingdom.

Admiral Lord West said U.S. special forces would hunt down the Islamic State killer, who has a London accent and is known as “Jihadi John,” in the same manner that they eventually tracked down and executed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, MailOnline reported.

“I would like to see him arraigned in The Hague for war crimes,” said West of the executioner, but acknowledged that the U.S. forces would likely kill him first. “He is a dead man walking, and he wants to think about that.”

British authorities are attempting to confirm the identity of the hooded Islamic State extremist who is believed to be the same man who brutally murdered James Foley two weeks ago and Steven Sotloff this week.

West, a former security minister, added, “We probably know already who he is, we certainly will know soon.”

The executioner decapitated both men with a knife while being filmed in two sickening videos that were released by the Islamic State (ISIS) as a warning to the United States to stop the air strikes supporting Iraqi and Kurdish troops.

At the end of the second video, the executioner was shown threatening to decapitate a British hostage, who was wearing the same orange jumpsuit worn by Foley and Sotloff before they were murdered.

The hostage has been identified as David Cawthorne Haines, a 44-year-old from Scotland, who was working for a nonprofit aid group in Syria when he was seized by the terrorist group last year.

Tiffany Easthom, a spokeswoman for Nonviolent Peaceforce, a civilian peacekeeping group based in Belgium, said Haines had worked for the organization for six months in South Sudan in 2012 and was working for the France-based ACTED when he was taken hostage by ISIS, the Military Times reported.

"We feel awful for him," Easthom said. "He was a hard-working guy.”

Earlier this summer, U.S. special forces attempted to rescue Haines and Foley along with other hostages held in Syria, according to MailOnline. But the mission failed because the hostages had been moved before the rescue team arrived.
 
The U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said another attempt to rescue Haines could be launched, adding, “We will look at every possible option to protect this person.”

It was initially believed that the masked executioner was a former rapper named Adel-Majed Abdel Bary, who left his extravagant home in London to join Islamist militants in Syria, according to MailOnline.

But now British officials say they believe that they have identified the killer using high-tech analysis of his body and voice, including hand vein matching, and no longer think he’s the hip-hop artist.

The executioner is said to be known as 'Jihadi John' because he traveled to Syria to join ISIS with three other Britons, with the foursome dubbed The Beatles by other militants, MailOnline said.


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