Three British men waging jihad in the Middle East alongside the Islamic State (IS) have emerged as potential identities for the masked extremist who killed James Foley in a brutal propaganda video.
The men, all in their early twenties, are thought to be in the IS capital of Raqqa, Syria. They enter the frame as security sources say MI5 are getting closer to discovering who the executioner, known only as ‘John’, could be.
The fighter, who spoke with a British accent, butchered Mr Foley, an American journalist, in front of cameras, claiming it was retaliation for U.S. air strikes on the Islamic State (formerly ISIS).
In the frame: It has been suggested that Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 23, a rapper from West London, could be the masked man (right) who killed journalist James Foley in a brutal propaganda video
Brutal: It has been suggested that Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 23, a rapper from West London, could be the man who killed journalist James Foley in a brutal propaganda video. He is pictured holding a severed head
Hacker: Abu Abdullah al-Britani, pictured, a Briton in his 20s from Portsmouth, is another possible identity for ‘John’. He was jailed in 2012 for stealing personal information from former Prime Minister Tony Blair
Search: UK and U.S. intelligence services are working to identify ‘John’ (right), who appeared in a gruesome video in which he kills American journalist James Foley (left)
A French prisoner who was held captive by ‘John’ says he was part of a group of British jihadists who call themselves ‘The Beatles’.
Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 23, a former rapper from London, Abu Hussain Al-Britani, 20, a computer hacker from Birmingham, and Abu Abdullah al-Britani, in his 20s, from Portsmouth, have been mooted as identities for ‘John’.
According to reports in The Sun newspaper, some of the men have similar voices, and even use similar language, to that used in the video.
Security forces have revealed that the information contained in the horrific footage has allowed them to ‘zero in’ on the wanted man.
Meanwhile, police are preparing to raid the homes of several Britons in order to help establish his identity, according to a report in The Times. Their drive to find ‘John’ comes as the Home Secretary announced that she was poised to bring in new laws to tackle British extremists.
Bary, one of the British jihadists, has posted sickening images online of himself posing with the severed heard of a Syria soldier, accompanied by a joke.Words of the British-accented murderer of James Foley
Masked: The Sun has reported that the man in this image is Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, one of the Britons fighting in Syria. His identity cannot be independently verified
Intelligence: Voice recognition software is reportedly among the tools analysts at MI5 are using to ‘zero in’ on the identity of the murderer
Radical: Bary is one of six children of Egyptian militant Adel Abdul Bary, who was wanted in connection to the 1998 United States embassy bombings in East Africa which killed hundreds of people
The former musician, whose music was played on Radio 1, left a £1million home in Maida Vale, west London, saying he was ‘leaving everything for the sake of Allah’. He later boasted online about the battles he had fought.
An expert told the Sun that Bary’s voice and speech patterns sounded ‘the same’ as those of the man speaking in the horrific video of Mr Foley’s death.
According to the Sun, Bary is believed to be the ringleader of the trio. It reports that his two associates call themselves ‘lions’.
Cyber skills: Abu Hussain al-Britani, 20, whose real name is Junaid Hussain, was jailed for stealing personal information from Tony Blair. He left Birmingham for Syria and is reportedly launching cyber attacks on the West
Abu Hussain al-Britani, who lived in Birmingham, was jailed in 2012 for stealing personal information from former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The jihadist, real name Junaid Hussian, later left for Syria, where it has been reported that he is helping mastermind jihadist cyber attacks on British banks and celebrities to further swell the IS war coffers.
Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 23, is a former musician whose music has been played on BBC Radio 1.
For more than a decade he lived with his mother Ragaa in a £1million house in Maida Vale, West London, which is owned by Westminster Council.
He walked out of the family home in 2013 to fight in Syria, saying that he was ‘leaving everything for the sake of Allah’.
He later boasted online about the battles he had fought.
Friends said Bary – an aspiring rapper on the ‘grime’ music scene – grew increasingly radical and violent after mixing with thugs linked to hate preacher Anjem Choudary.
Bary is one of six children of Egyptian militant Adel Abdul Bary, who was granted political asylum in the UK in 1993.
In 2012 he was extradited to the US, where he was wanted in connection to the 1998 United States embassy bombings in East Africa which killed hundreds of people.
Investigators said that he helped to publicise statements claiming responsibility after the bombings.
Bary Snr’s eight-year legal battle made him a cause celebre of the Left as lawyers took his publicly funded case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Investigators believe Bary Snr was one of Bin Laden’s closest lieutenants in the infancy of Al Qaeda and ran a London cell of the terror network.
Bary Jr is believed to be the ringleader of the three extremists, according to the Sun.
Meanwhile, Abu Abdullah Al-Britani, who often uses Twitter to post pro-IS propaganda online, is believed to be behind social media accounts attempting to recruit teenagers to join fighting in the Middle East.
In June, MailOnline revealed an account on the ask.fm social media site, believed to be operated by al-Britani, which gave self-identified youths advice on how to travel to Syria and Iraq and perks of the job from working with IS.
It comes as British intelligence operatives continue to use advanced recognition software to match known suspects to ‘John’s’ voice.
Security sources revealed to The Times that, thanks to information posted online, MI5 is now ‘zeroing in’ on the wanted man.
It was also revealed that police are preparing to raid the homes of several Britons to help to establish the identity of the jihadist. Meanwhile, a small group of officers from the FBI is understood to be arriving to help British forces with their investigation.
Strict security protocols have also reportedly been put in place to stop classified information leaking to the wanted jihadists or their associates.
In an interview yesterday, Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond said: ‘Our intelligence agencies and police are studying the material that we have received.
‘You wouldn’t expect me to give a running commentary on that process, but we are devoting significant amounts of resource to identifying the individual.’
He also ruled out an alliance with the Assad regime in Syria to combat the Islamic State (formerly Isis), saying that ‘my enemy’s enemy is not my friend’.
His statement comes as the Home Secretary announced that she was poised to bring in new laws to tackle British extremists.
Theresa May said Britain must introduce all the legal powers necessary to win the struggle against terror that is feared to last for decades.
Banning orders for extremist groups will be looked at again alongside powers to stop radical preachers.
Family home: Bary – an aspiring rapper – lived with his mother Ragaa for more than a decade in this £1million home in Maida Vale, West London, owned by Westminster Council
Abu Hussain al-Britani, who lived in Birmingham, was jailed in 2012 for stealing personal information from former Prime Minister Tony Blair. He fled to Syria last year while on police bail.
It has been reported that the jihadist, whose real name Junaid Hussian, is helping mastermind cyber attacks on British banks and celebrities to further swell IS war coffers.
Hussain has not directly mentioned hacking in his stream of Islamist posts on Twitter, but a fellow fighter boasted of being bought pizza using celebrity’s credit card details acquired by a jihadist hacker.
He has posted photos online of him posing with a rifle in his hands.
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Abu Abdullah Al-Britani, who often uses Twitter to post pro-IS propaganda, is believed to be behind social media accounts attempting to recruit teenagers.
MailOnline revealed an account on the ask.fm social media site, believed to be operated by al-Britani, which gave self-identified youths advice on how to travel to Syria and Iraq and perks of the job from working with IS.
Another message describes the ‘welcome pack’ new ISIS recruits receive when they complete theIr induction process.
He is believed to be one of a group of men from Portsmouth who flew from London Gatwick to the tourist town of Antalya in Turkey, before crossing the border into Syria to join ISIS.
Mrs May also underlined changes to the law that mean naturalised Britons who are fighting overseas can be stripped of their citizenship and excluded.
Yesterday it emerged that the group holding Mr Foley has demanded the release of al-Qaeda scientist Aafia Siddiqui.
The Pakistani mother-of-three, 42, is serving 86 years in a Texas jail for plotting to spread Ebola and make a dirty bomb.
It came as Mr Foley’s brother Michael urged officials to reconsider their policy of not negotiating in order to save another US journalist, Steven Sotloff.
He said: ‘I hope that Jim’s death pushes us to take another look at our approach.’
General Martin Dempsey, Chariman of President Obama’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, yesterday warned that IS had an ‘apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision’ and could only be defeated by a coalition of partners.
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