Report: British intelligence has identified Foley's killer

Key suspect in the journalist's beheading said to be Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 23, known to fellow fighters as 'Jihadi John.'

An Islamic State militant holding a knife to beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley.
A still showing an Islamic State militant holding a knife to beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in an undated video. / Photo by Reuters
By Haaretz
Published 05:15 24.08.14

The British security services MI5 and MI6 have identified the British member of the Islamic State jihadist organization who is suspected of murdering American journalist James Foley, according to the London-based Sunday Times newspaper.

The newspaper attributed the information to "senior government sources."

The Sunday Times did not name the killer, saying that its sources "gave no details of the man they have identified," though it did give the name of a person it described as a "key suspect" – hip-hop artist Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary.

According to the newspaper, Bary, 23, left his family's home in an upmarket London suburb last year. It says he recently tweeted a picture of himself holding up a severed head.

The gruesome video of Foley's beheading, which was released last week, featured a man with a London accent. The newspaper said that Bary is known to fellow fighters as “Jihadi John.”

The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has conquered considerable swathes of land in Iraq and Syria in recent months.

Moshe foreach


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  • 3.
    The best thing you can do is show the Jihadi's actual photograph. That way he willl be afraid to show his face anywhere. Use of the hood
    and cloaks to hide their identity shows that the so-called jihadis are cowards and fear that they will be known to the world..
  • 2.
    Use a different image
    Agreed, the best strategy to report on IS and simultaneously give the finger to their disgraceful attention seeking grandstanding is to not show images from the video, it only makes people want to watch the video and give them attention, not to mention it doesn't honor Foley.
  • 1.
    use a different image
    As basically every scholar on terrorism and radicalisation has noted on twitter, sharing imagines of executions, even ones just showing the victim on their needs before the executioner, plays into IS(IS)'s media agenda. If the editor is reading this, I encourage them to change the image at the top of this article to a different one of Foley (or to crop him out to just focus on the executioner), and I hope any Haaretz readers seeing this also try to remember the principle in their own social media postings.