'Jihadi John': Identity of Isis militant who beheaded Steven Sotloff and James Foley remains a mystery

The British terrorist has not been identified by authorities

The British Islamic State (Isis) militant filmed beheading Steven Sotloff is the same man who killed James Foley two weeks ago, the Foreign Secretary has confirmed.

Philip Hammond said analysis of the brutal footage of both murders has concluded it is genuine and features the same masked militant, who speaks with a distinctive London or south-east accent.

“I'm back, Obama, and I'm back because of your arrogant foreign policy toward the Islamic State [...] despite our serious warnings,” he says in the latest video.

“So just as your missiles continue to strike our people, our knife will continue to strike the necks of your people.”

He went on to threaten to kill a British hostage, who was paraded in front of cameras, next if the US and Western government did not "back off" from fighting Isis.

The terrorist has been dubbed “jihadi John” because of his reported membership of a trio of UK-born terrorists fighting with Isis in Syria nicknamed after The Beatles.

He is believed to be one of up to 500 Britons believed to have travelled to join Islamist groups in the country’s continuing civil war.

Video: Philip Hammond on IS and British hostage

The British Ambassador to the United States said last month that agencies were “not far away” from naming the militant but no identification has been made.

Speaking to CNN following the beheading of Mr Foley, an American journalist being held with Mr Sotloff, Peter Westmacott said voice-recognition and intelligence was being used to track him down.

Read more: Isis threatens British hostage in second beheading video
'I know identity of 'Jihadi John'', claims French former hostage

Mr Westmacott said the problem “goes beyond one horrendous criminal.”

“People think maybe as many as 500 British subjects have gone to Syria and Iraq for this cause of jihad,” he added.

The Home Office would not comment on whether the man in the video has been identified and it is understood that, for security reasons, the knowledge would not be made public if it did exist.

A former rapper fighting with Isis in Syria is believed to be one of several British jihadists under investigation.

Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary pictured here in a YouTube video showcasing his rapping Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary pictured here in a YouTube video showcasing his rapping Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 24, was known as L Jinny or Lyricist Jinn at home in London, where his rising music career saw him appear in videos and have his singles played on BBC Radio in 2012.

He came to national attention earlier this year, when he posted a picture of himself holding a severed head on Twitter after resurfacing in Syria.

Bary reportedly travelled to the country last year from Maida Vale, west London, where he lived with his mother and five siblings.

His father Adel Abdul Bary, an Egyptian refugee thought to be one of Osama Bin Laden’s closest lieutenants, was extradited from Britain to the United States on charges of terrorism in 2012 for his alleged roles in the bombings of two US embassies in east Africa in 1998.

Bary’s current whereabouts in Syria is not known and his Twitter account under the name “Terrorist” @ItsLJinny has been deactivated.

Previous posts mentioned Abu Hussein al Britani, a fellow Isis militant who has uploaded pictures of himself on Twitter with guns in Syria.

He and associate Abu Abdullah al-Britani were seen offering travel advice to would-be jihadists online earlier this year.

Other Britons known to have travelled to Syria include a young Scottish woman who goes by the identity Umm Layth, believed to be Glasgow-born Aqsa Mahmood, and another called Khadijah Dare.

Khadijah Dare and her husband, Abu Bakr, in a Channel 4 documentary Khadijah Dare and her husband, Abu Bakr, in a Channel 4 documentary Both travelled to Syria last year and have since married Isis fighters, posting a stream of extremist views and accounts of their new lives online.

David Cameron said the Government was doing all it could to stop people being radicalised and travelling abroad but needed stronger legal powers.

Speaking on Monday, he said existing terrorism prevention and investigation measures would be boosted and powers to revoke or refuse passports to suspected extremists would be used.

“We have also stepped up our operational response, with a fivefold increase in Syria-related arrests and the removal of 28,000 pieces of extremist material from the internet this year alone, including 46 ISIL-related videos,” he said.

A spokesman for the Home Office said: “We have excluded more preachers of hate than any other UK government and the police regularly disrupt events which feature extremist preachers. Since 2010, we have taken down over 47,000 pieces of illegal terrorist material from the internet.

"Our priority is to dissuade people from travelling to areas of conflict such as Syria or Iraq in the first place. We have a wide range of powers at our disposal to disrupt travel and manage the risk posed by returnees, including prosecuting those who break the law."

Read more: David Cameron under pressure to negotiate with Isis
MOTHER'S TRAGIC APPEAL TO ISIS TO 'FOLLOW MOHAMED'S EXAMPLE'
HOW WE SHOULD REMEMBER STEPHEN SOTLOFF
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Housekeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is the holding company of an expa...

Recruitment Genius: Network Engineer

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Setup, configure, troubleshoot,...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Consultant - Financial Services - OTE £65,000

£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Underwriter

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future