RAQQA, Syria, Jan. 19 (UPI) — The Islamic State has confirmed the death of “Jihadi John,” the masked executioner with a British accent who was reportedly killed in a U.S. drone strike last year.
The militant group made the announcement in an obituary featured in its online publication known as Dabiq.
The 27-year-old jihadist’s real name was Mohammed Emwazi, though among his IS comrades he was known as “Abu Muharib al-Muhajir.”
Emwazi, wearing a black mask, appeared in a series of beheading videos, including those depicting the deaths of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, British aid worker David Haines, American aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig and British taxi driver Alan Henning.
In November, U.S. officials said they had a “high degree of certainty” that Emwazi was killed in a coalition drone strike in the IS capital of Raqqa, Syria.
“This guy was a human animal, and killing him probably makes the world a little bit better place,” The Telegraph quoted Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren as saying at the time.
Earlier this month, IS released a fresh video depicting the execution of five men by a different black-masked executioner who spoke with a British accent. The man, known by the alias Abu Rumaysah, was later identified as Siddhartha Dhar, a 32-year-old British Indian who converted to Islam.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said the militants released the video to distract the public from a recent series of battlefield losses.