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UK launches manhunt for Foley’s British killer

MI5 and Scotland Yard have joined forces with the FBI to track ‘Jailer John,’ part of four British terrorists called ‘the Beatles’.

LAKSHMAN MENON  London | 23rd Aug 2014

MI5 and Scotland Yard have commenced a massive manhunt for the terrorist who beheaded the American journalist, James Foley, after David Cameron said it was "increasingly likely" that he was British. They have joined forces with the FBI as sources identified the killer, nicknamed "Jailer John", as member of a gang of four British terrorists, known as "the Beatles" because of their British accents. The gang, believed to be senior ISIS operatives, are reportedly holding at least one dozen Western hostages. While the Times reported that sources have raised the possibility that all four men are of British-Pakistani origin, the Daily Telegraph reports that linguistics experts have suggested that "John" possibly has "some links to Afghanistan". Meanwhile, a French journalist, who was also held hostage by ISIS for seven months with James Foley, has said he has a "rough idea" of the identity of "Jailer John". Didier Francois, who was released in April, said "Jailer john" and his gang "had a taste for the macabre", conducting mock executions including a crucifixion on Foley who came in for their special ire on account of his American nationality.

It is now believed that as many as 1,500 British Muslims have travelled to Syria to fight for ISIS, more than twice the number of British Muslims serving in the British Armed Forces. The identities of many of them are becoming clear to the British security forces.

In related news, the Times reports that British extremists "are among the most vicious and bloodthirsty of all jihadist fighters in Syria and Iraq". Terrorism experts fear that they now constitute the biggest single danger to British security. The newspaper adds that the Metropolitan Police chief has expressed fears that the UK would struggle to cope if hundreds returned at the same time.

In other developments, Britain's crack Special Forces, including the Special Air Service [SAS] operating in Iraq, are reportedly helping to identify and locate leaders within ISIS as possible assassination targets and sharing information gathered with Iraqi and US special forces.

Meanwhile, over 100 British imams have called on British Muslims not to travel to Syria and Iraq. In an open letter, the imams have urged local communities "to continue the generous and tireless effort to support all of those affected by the crisis in Syria and... Iraq" but to do so "from the UK in a safe and responsible way".

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