The Daily Beast reports: ISIS’s most famous executioner, Mohammed Emwazi — best known as “Jihadi John” — was targeted in a U.S. airstrike in Syria early Friday morning, according to a senior U.S. administration official.
Emwazi was suspected of carrying out dozens of executions for the so-called Islamic State, including the beheading of American journalist James Foley and other American hostages.
The results of the strike are still being assessed, so Emwazi’s death cannot yet be confirmed, the senior administration official told The Daily Beast.
“This isn’t about avenging deaths but removing a despicable individual who committed brutal murders under the false pretense of a bankrupt and hijacked ideology,” the official said.
A U.S. defense official told The Daily Beast that the U.S. military followed Emwazi for the better part of a day leading up to the strike, which happened as he left a building. While officials cannot officially say he is dead — and won’t be able to for some time — they are all but certain.
“We are pretty damn sure he is dead,” the defense official said. [Continue reading…]
ABC News reports: Diane Foley, mother of James Foley, told ABC News after hearing of Emwazi’s possible demise that it was “small solace” to the family.
“This huge effort to go after this deranged man filled with hate when they can’t make half that effort to save the hostages while those young Americans were still alive,” said Foley, who has been a vocal critic of American hostage policy. “It’s unfortunate that the government doesn’t get it. They think it gives us solace, but it doesn’t.”
The family of Steven Sotloff, who was also shown beheaded in one of Emwazi’s videos, was similarly somber about the news.
“This development doesn’t change anything for us; it’s too little too late,” the family said in a statement provided to ABC News. [Continue reading…]