An Islamic State-affiliated magazine has confirmed the death of Jihadi John.
Mohammed Emwazi was a London-based computer programmer. He grabbed media attention after having been a part of a number ISIS execution videos. He became the “face” of the militant group. He gave sinister messages to the world. He beheaded foreign nationals.
According to ISIS’ Dabiq magazine, Emwazi was known in the group as “Abu Muharib al-Muhajir.” The magazine published a eulogy for the man who executed US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. He also killed British aid workers Alan Henning and David Haines and Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.
In November 2015, the US military claimed to have killed Jihadi John in a drone strike. “We know for a fact that the weapons system hit its intended
“We know for a fact that the weapons system hit its intended target, and that the personnel who were on the receiving end of that weapons system were in fact killed,” Al Jazeera quoted Colonel Steve Warren as saying. He said US authorities had “great confidence that this individual was Jihadi John.”
Even though the death of Jihadi John is confirmed, one may wonder if it affects ISIS in a significant way. The terrorist group continues to recruit foreign fighters in numbers.
The US military has had some success against ISIS. However, US intelligence officials say the strategic picture has not changed much, according to NBC News. The number of foreign fighters in ISIS was 20,000 then. The number has now increased to 36,500.
A top White House foreign policy advisor, Ben Rhodes, said it would take years to defeat ISIS. He said the extremist group will be a threat for years to come.
The death of “Jihadi John” may be considered an achievement for the US-led coalition which has been fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria since 2014.