CNN has identity crisis as channel mistakes Vladimir Putin for Jihadi John

Jihadi John has actually been identified as a 26-year-old Londoner

Click to follow
The Independent Online

CNN has apologised for a technical glitch that showed an image of Vladimir Putin during a news segment on an alleged Isis executioner known as Jihadi John.

A picture of the masked man, who appears in beheading videos of at least five hostages, was followed by an image of the Russian prime minister looking somewhat annoyed.

Putin’s face flashed up on screen during the live news broadcast above a caption that read: “Jihadi John identified”.


Jihadi John has been identified as Mohammed Emwazi, 26, from west London. He studied computer science before becoming known to UK intelligence agencies over links to Islamic militants.

The Washington Post published his identity in February and Prime Minister David Cameron called for his capture after other news organisations followed suit.

Jihadi John was the name given to an Isis militant with a British accent seen on video beheading journalist James Foley

CNN, however, made the blunder on Thursday during correspondent Max Foster’s report on Kuwaiti-born Emwazi, who has had a $10 million bounty on his head and is now subject to an international manhunt.

“I think, certainly there are concerns now about hostages being put at risk, and about eventually prosecuting this man, Jihadi John, in the future,” said Foster, while unaware of the photo mix-up beside him.

CNN told Russian news agency TASS, according to channel Russia Today: “Due to a failure of a video server during [Thursday’s] breaking news broadcast, a photo of Vladimir Putin, prepared for our next report, was accidentally shown. We apologise for that mistake.”

According to RT, this is not the first time that CNN was subject to scrutiny after making mistakes related to Russia.

Earlier last month, CNN accidentally annexed Ukraine to Russia.

It showed a map in which Ukraine and Russia was highlighted in the same colour with the Russian flag superimposed on it.