His fellow Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists call him "John the Beatle," one of a pack of British Islamists who are fighting with the murderous group, but "John's" vicious actions are light years away from the "peace and love" philosophy espoused by the late Beatle John Lennon.
"John," a British rapper named Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, is alleged by authorities to be the masked, barbaric radical jihadist who, in blood-curdling videos, cut off the head of American journalist James Foley and others with a knife.
The brutal beheadings set off a worldwide manhunt to identify the cold-blooded executioner, and now, the New York Post reports
, he's been spotted in Syria.
Bary, 23, also known as "Jihadi John," came by his terrorist leanings from his Egyptian father, Adel Abdel Bary, extradited to the U.S. and on trial in a Manhattan courthouse for the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa which killed 224 people including 12 Americans, the Post reports. The elder Bary operated a press office in London for Osama bin Laden and al Qaida. He left London for Syria last year to join ISIS.
However, as much as authorities would like to "kill or capture" "John the Beatle" immediately, a source told the Post, "Right now, a raid would be suicidal," because of the strength of the ISIS forces around Raqqa, where he was seen.
British special forces operating drones believe they located "John the Beatle" in the company of a group of ISIS hostages wearing orange prison jumpsuits.
Authorities say the brazen murderer even posted a photo of himself on Twitter, holding a severed head.
The beheadings so horrified the world that British Prime Minister David Cameron ordered his country's top spy chiefs to make it a priority to hunt down and, if possible, kidnap or kill the terrorist. American-built Reaper drones made the sighting possible.
"While sightings of Jihadi John are useful, as was establishing his identity, we are still a long way off getting a hit on him. Right now a raid would be suicidal," a military source told the Daily Mail
Instead, the Daily Mail reports, British special forces have advised that the best approach would be sustained bombing attacks on the area.
"The imagery from the drones and satellites is instructive but ISIS infrastructure in Raqqa would have to be targeted over a sustained period to make any sort of raid a realistic possibility," the source told the Daily Mail.
ISIS calls the four British jihadists the Beatles because of their home country and accents, giving each one a name of one of the famed rock group, which did not sit well with Ringo Starr, the original Beatles drummer, who told the Evening Standard
, "What they are doing out there is against everything The Beatles stood for. We stood for peace and love."
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