Mohammed Emwazi told an MI5 officer that 9/11 was “wrong”, the 7 July bombings were “extremism” and people were entitled to their own beliefs, according to a new recording.
In taped interviews purporting to be from 2009, the British extremist known as “Jihadi John” said that if he had the opportunity to retrieve the lives lost during 9/11 he “would make those lives come back”.
The MI5 handler, “Nick”, was unimpressed. Emwazi said that the agent looked at him and said: “I still believe you are going to Somalia to train.”
Emwazi said the agent “threatened him”, saying: “We are going to keep a close eye on you, Mohammed, and we already have been … We are going to keep a close eye on you.”
“Then he is asking me: ‘What do you think of the Jews, just like ...’
Cage said it had released the transcripts in a bid to support its claim that Emwazi was not a militant before the security services “harassed and intimidated” the Londoner, a suggestion that some will regard as risible. Last night Amnesty International said it is considering cutting links with the pressure group over any attempt to apologise for Isis or its human rights abuses.
Kuwaiti newspapers said on Monday that family members, who included British passport-holders, were being monitored after returning to the Arab country.
Emwazi was born in Kuwait before coming to Britain at the age of six. He attended school and the University of Westminster in the UK
His family claimed to have lost contact with him in 2013 when he headed to Syria, telling them he was planning to help deliver aid. He re-emerged last year in Isis videos showing the murders of at least five Western hostages. It is not clear if both of his parents are currently in Kuwait.
“It’s very shocking to see how he turned out: a mouthpiece for a terrorist organisation. His father is very distressed over what happened to his son. He’s not well,” said a family acquaintance, who only gave his first name, Tareq.
Emwazi’s former headteacher said on Monday that the 26-year-old had been bullied at school but appeared a hard-working and aspirational young man who went to the university of his choice.
“Even now when I’m listening to the news and I hear his name I feel the skin on the back of my neck stand up because it is just so far from what I knew of him, and it is so shocking and horrendous the things that he has done,” said Jo Shuter, the former head at Quintin Kynaston academy in north-west London.
Two other former pupils from the school have been killed fighting for extremist groups abroad.
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