Earlier today, FBI Director James Comey created quite a flurry of frantic news alerts when he made the surprise announcement that the Bureau has identified the masked man depicted in terror videos as the knife-wielding executioner who carried out brutal beheadings.
But after teasing reporters with that tantalizing revelation that he knows who the clad-in-black killer is, Comey declined to reveal either the name or the nationality of the suspect. According to the Associated Press:
Comey did not address whether the U.S. believes the man actually carried out the killings himself. The beheadings are not shown in the videos.
In the three videos, the man speaks British-accented English. He holds a long knife and appears to begin cutting the three men, American reporters James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines.
Reason.com reminds us that it was a month ago that British intelligence officials said they knew the identity of the man seen in the gruesome video of the beheading of James Foley. Sources said:
…the alleged killer may be Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, a 23-year-old rapper who was raised in a well-to-do London home. Last year, he joined the terrorist organization, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is now wreaking havoc throughout Iraq.
The Daily Mail reported that the man with the British accent who became known as “Jihadi John” was linked to the publicity-seeking Islamic hate preacher Anjem Choudary, who was just arrested by Scotland Yard on charges of promoting terrorism.
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Photo credit: Zennie Abraham (Flickr)