Jihadi John, relatives under watch in Kuwait: Reports

London, PTI | Updated : 02 March 2015, 11:24 AM

Kuwaiti authorities are closely monitoring several relatives of “Jihadi John” who live and work in the Gulf emirate where the Islamic State executioner was born, press reports said today.

A number of relatives of Mohammed Emwazi, named as the militant who has beheaded at least five Western hostages, are working in Kuwait and like him hold British citizenship, Al-Qabas newspaper reported.

“Security agencies have taken the necessary measures to monitor them round the clock,” the paper said, citing an “informed source.”

The daily did not say how many of Emwazi’s relatives are in Kuwait. Authorities have remained silent on the issue.

Al-Rai newspaper cited security sources as saying that Emwazi’s father, Jassem Abdulkareem, also a British national, is currently in Kuwait and is expected to be summoned by authorities.

Emwazi visited Kuwait several times, the last of them between January 18 and April 26, 2010, Al-Qabas said.

He arrived from the United Arab Emirates using his British passport to obtain a Kuwaiti entry visa.

A year later, he was denied entry to Kuwait after his name came up during investigations into attacks in Britain, the newspaper said.

Emwazi’s visits to Kuwait were largely of a social nature and he was briefly engaged to a stateless Kuwaiti resident, the paper added.

The Gulf emirate has tens of thousands of stateless residents known as bidoons.

Emwazi’s family, who are of Iraqi origin, were among them.

They applied for naturalisation but their names were removed from the list of prospective citizens because of allegations that they collaborated with the Iraqi army during its seven-month occupation of Kuwait in 1990-1991, Al-Qabas said.

Emwazi was born in Kuwait but moved to London in the early 1990s when he was a child and attended school and university in the British capital.

The Daily Telegraph reported that he went to school with two other boys who went on to become militants - Choukri Ellekhlifi, who was killed fighting in Syria, and Mohammed Sakr, killed fighting in Somalia.

It was also reported that Emwazi had contacts with the men responsible for failed attacks on London’s public transport system in 2005, two weeks after suicide bombings killed 52 people in the British capital.

The revelations add to the pressure on the security and intelligence agencies to explain why they did not act on their suspicions about Emwazi before he travelled to Syria.

An al-Qaeda terror suspect closely connected to Islamic State executioner known as “Jihadi John” is living in London, using the Human Rights Act to prevent the UK Government from deporting him.

According to court papers obtained by ‘The Telegraph’, the man is at the centre of a terror network that included his friend and associate Mohammed Emwazi, who last week was unmasked as “Jihadi John.”

The unveiling of Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born British man in his mid-20s, led to criticism of UK security services for being aware of him but not preventing him from joining the Islamic State group.

The legal documents show how the suspect, originally from Ethiopia, has resisted deportation despite being a leading member of al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliate based in Somalia and responsible for a series of terrorist atrocities.

The man, who can, for legal reasons, be identified only as J1, has close links not only to Emwazi but also to a number of other jihadists, including one of the July 21 plotters, who tried to blow up the London Underground in 2005, and two al-Qaeda terrorists subsequently killed in US drone attacks in Somalia.

The UK Government’s inability to deport J1, who was born in Ethiopia, will bolster demands for the Human Rights Act to be scrapped, the newspaper said.

The government’s case against him finally collapsed in the summer after a five-year legal battle when the senior diplomat in charge of trying to deport terrorists conceded that the system was not working.

The court documents involving J1 and another terror suspect, known as CE, a father of two who was born in Iran, detail a large network of jihadists operating in west London in 2011.

CE cannot be deported either, having been given British citizenship in 2004.

UK shadow home minister Yvette Cooper said: “The government has serious questions to answer about their handling of J1’s case and why Theresa May [the Home Secretary] hasn’t put him under special controls to protect the public.

“This appears to be yet another case which exposes the extremely serious consequences of the government’s decision to abolish control orders and weaken counterterror powers four years ago.”

First Published: Monday, March 02, 2015 11:22 AM
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