‘Jihadi John’ accused MI5 of threats, denied extremism in tape recording
Mohammed Emwazi, unmasked last week as the notorious Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) killer ‘Jihadi John,’ was recorded by the charity CAGE, with whom he corresponded for over two years.
The tape was made after Emwazi was deported from Tanzania and questioned in Amsterdam in 2009 on suspicion of trying to travel to Somalia to join the Islamist militant group, Al-Shabab.
He told the charity that MI5 threatened him, and “put words in my mouth.”
Speaking on tape to CAGE when he returned to London after the incident in Tanzania, Emwazi said: “He [the MI5 officer] looked at me and he said ‘I still believe that you're going to Somalia to train.’
“I said ‘after what I just told you, after … I told you that what's happening is extremism … you’re still suggesting that I'm an extremist?’
“He just started, you know, going on trying to put words into my mouth.”
He further says the MI5 officer told him “we’re going to keep a close eye on you Mohammed, we already have been.”
Emwazi is thought to have killed American journalist James Foley in a video released last August.
He is further believed to have featured in videos showing the beheadings of US journalist Steven Sotloff, British aid worker David Haines, British taxi driver Alan Henning and US aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, also known as Peter.
— RT UK (@RTUKnews) March 2, 2015
His identity was revealed last week, after a close friend of the fighter told the Washington Post he had no doubt that the man in the videos was Emwazi.
CAGE used the revelation of ‘Jihadi John’s identity to criticize the government’s foreign and counter-terror policies, claiming Muslims were unfairly targeted, leading them to become radicalized.
At a press conference on Thursday, spokesperson Asim Quershi called current UK terror legislation “suffocating.”
But Qureshi, who at one stage during the press conference became tearful and called Emwazi a softly-spoken “beautiful man,” is believed to have links to other Islamist campaign groups.
The director was filmed at demonstrations at the US Embassy in 2006, calling for Muslims to “support the jihad of our brothers and sisters” in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Chechnya.
“We know that it is incumbent upon all of us, to support the jihad of our brothers and sisters in these countries when they are facing the oppression of the West. Allahu Akhbar! Allahu Akhbar!” he said.
The campaign group was also labeled “pro-Jihadi” in 2010 after an Amnesty International official stepped down over the charity's links with CAGE.
One of Emwazi’s teachers has also stepped forward in defense of his character.
Jo Shuter, who was head teacher at Quintin Kynaston academy in northwest London, said she knew Mohammed Emwazi as a “quiet, reasonably hardworking young person.”
She told Radio 4’s Today program: “I am not prepared to say when the radicalization took place. All I can say is absolutely hand on heart, we had no knowledge of it. If we had, we would have done something about it.”