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ISIS Confirms "Jihadi John" Was Killed In U.S. Drone Strike

The masked militant became one of the most infamous members of the terrorist group after appearing in a number of beheading videos.

Posted on January 19, 2016, at 5:10 p.m. ET


Mohammed Emwazi, the notorious ISIS terrorist who earned the moniker "Jihadi John" after he appeared in a number of propaganda videos killing Western hostages, died last November in a drone strike in Syria, the terror group confirmed Tuesday.

U.S. officials had said they were "reasonably certain" Emwazi, a Briton who grew up in London before traveling to Syria, had been killed in the Nov. 12 airstrike in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.

The latest edition of the ISIS propaganda magazine Dabiq includes a eulogy for Emwazi, whom the group called Abu Muharib al-Muhajir.

"Abu Muharib finally achieved shahadah [martyrdom] for the cause of Allah, which he had sought for so long," his obituary read, "as the car he was in was targeted in a strike by an unmanned drone in the city of al-Raqqah, destroying the car and killing him instantly."

Emwazi became infamous in August 2014 when he first appeared in a video showing the killing of James Foley, an American freelance reporter held captive by ISIS. In subsequent videos, he also beheaded American Steven Sotloff, Britons David Haines and Alan Henning, and Japanese hostages Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto.

None of these murders were referenced in the Dabiq article, however the piece did state Emwazi's "harshness towards the kuffar [non-Muslim world] was manifested through deeds that enraged all the nations, religions, and factions of kufr [non-believers], the entire world bearing witness to this."

The article also includes a picture of the smiling face of a man said to be Emwazi, who wore a mask in his videos.

The ISIS obituary also confirmed several elements of Emwazi's background that had been previously reported, including efforts by British intelligence officials to prevent him from leaving the U.K. by stopping him at airports for questioning.

The latest issue of Dabiq also includes an article on December's mass shooting in San Bernardino, which was carried out by a husband and wife, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, who had posted messages on social media in support of ISIS.

"Syed Rizwan and his wife did not hold back from fulfilling their obligation despite having a daughter to care for," the article says over a photo of the child's empty crib.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.