Translator Who Defected From Islamic State Saw Jihadi John' Kill Japanese Hostage

Man who called himself `Saleh' spoke with Sky News and explained why the hostages seemed calm before they were murdered on camera.

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Protesters chant "Free Goto" during a protest in front of the Japanese Prime Minister's official residence in Tokyo, Jan. 27, 2015. Journalist Kenji Goto was seized by ISIS in Oct., 2014 in Syria.
Protesters chant "Free Goto" during a protest in front of the Japanese Prime Minister's official residence in Tokyo, Jan. 27, 2015. Journalist Kenji Goto was seized by ISIS in Oct., 2014 in Syria.Credit: AP
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Haaretz

A translator who joined and defected from Islamic State says he saw the man who is prominent in the terror group's propaganda videos kill one of the group's hostages.

The man, who called himself Saleh and had fled Islamic State for Turkey, spoke with Sky News.

Islamic State has said it intends to form a caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Reports have said it controls substantial chunks of territory; more recent ones have said internal stresses may be sapping the group's strength.

Saleh confirmed to Sky News that the man in the videos is British Mohammed Emwazi, as the Washington Post recently disclosed. And he called Emwazi, who before his identification was known as Jihadi John, "the big boss" who gives orders to others.

Saleh said that from a short distance away, he'd seen Emwazi kill Kenji Goto, a Japanese freelance video journalist whom IS had taken in Syria.

He told Sky News that people respect Emwazi "because he uses the knife." He said that anyone in Islamic State can kill a Syrian but only Emwazi is allowed to kill foreign captives.

The translator said that each of the captives underwent several mock executions.

The reason they appeared calm before they were murdered by Emwazi, Saleh said, was that Saleh was ordered to tell them that they wouldn't be killed. "So they don't worry," Saleh said.

And Saleh said IS's command-and-control structure was dominated by foreign fighters, more of whom are coming to join the group.

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