Jihadi John may be out of a job. “Jihadi John,” the masked killer who stood shamelessly over the bodies of the men he murdered, spouting ISIS rhetoric and pomposity as he wagged his executioner’s knife at the camera and talked up a bloated tempest of terrorist threat propaganda, is reportedly running for his life.
Writes the Times of India: “The 26-year-old British terrorist Mohammed Emwazi, also known as Jihadi John, is believed to have left the terror group several weeks ago and went on the run in Syria, trying to head to North Africa.”
According to reports, ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi allegedly issued a recent decree that bans the use of execution videos, used to further the cause of the jihadist extremist militant group and self-proclaimed caliphate. The gory footage may deter young recruits from joining the rank and file terrorist organization, purports ringleader al-Baghdadi.
ISIS would drop Emwazi “like a stone or worse if they feel he is no longer of any use to them,” a source was quoted as speaking to the Times. “So it is possible he will end up suffering the same fate as his victims.”
Jihadi John has not shown up in any ISIS videos in at least six months. The sickening videos caught the world’s attention last year when Jihadi John, a British Kuwaiti computer science graduate, emerged and was seen beheading or standing over severed heads in at least six ISIS videos released in 2014. Japanese photojournalist Kenji Goto was the last known victim of Jihadi John.
Reports say al-Baghdadi is understood to have sent a directive to his ISIS chieftains, ordering them to stop creating sickening propaganda videos showing killings, beatings and beheadings. Such videos are “scaring children,” and “offending Muslims,” al-Baghdadi reportedly wrote.
The order has been said to have caused division among the Islamic fanatics, who want to see the barbaric execution videos continue.
The identification of Jihadi John, coupled with the fact he has been named a high value target – as well as in consideration of the order to halt the execution videos – may have spelled the end of Emwazi’s usefulness.
Nick Kaderbhai, a research fellow at the London-based think tank International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence, said a number stories have emerged. “In the last few months he has said to have fled to Syria, Turkey and Libya,” adding that his departure “doesn’t fit the profile of the committed jihadist. They tend to embrace their identity wholeheartedly and claim not to fear death.”
In January, a video was released of Emwazi beheading the 47-year-old Goto. Jihadi John was also seen in the executions of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid workers Alan Henning, David Haines and Peter Kassig.