Will Theresa May ban this chap from Britain? Or would that be “Islamophobic”? And meanwhile, is anyone looking into where he learned his understanding of Islam, and where this understanding is being spread in Britain? Or would such an inquiry impair “community cohesion”?
“ISIS fighter who executed US journalist looks to be British, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond says,” by Robin de Peyer, London Evening Standard, August 20, 2014 (thanks to Anne Crockett):
The ISIS fighter who beheaded a US photojournalist in a savage act of brutality appears to be British, the Foreign Secretary said today.
Philip Hammond said the horrific video of James Foley being executed by a masked jihadi militant has the hallmarks to suggest it is genuine as he warned of the “cancer” of the Islamic State.
Footage posted online by ISIS terrorists shows the 40-year-old freelance journalist handcuffed and clad in orange robes before being savagely executed by a fighter apparently speaking in a British accent in the desert.
Mr Hammond today acknowledged that the killer appears to speak with a British accent as he issues a chilling “message to America”.
“Certainly at first pass that’s what it looks like and we will obviously want to investigate that further,” he told the BBC.
“We have been saying for a long time that there are a significant number of British nationals in Syria and Iraq operating with extremist organisations.
“That’s one of the reasons why this organisation represents such a direct threat to the UK’s national security.
“Many of these people may seek at some point to return to the UK and they would then pose a direct threat to our domestic security.”
‘Cancer’: Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond condemned the violence (Picture: PA) Mr Hammond accepted that “significant numbers” of British nationals had been involved in the atrocities carried out by ISIS fighters in the Middle East.
“We are very much aware of the threat from foreign nationals operating in Syria and Iraq, that’s not just to the UK it’s to all Western countries and other Arab countries as well.
“This is a poison, a cancer, what’s going on in Iraq and Syria and it risks spreading to other parts of the international community and affecting us all directly.”
He added: “This may come as news to some people but it certainly does not come as news to us.
“We are absolutely aware that there are significant numbers of British nationals involved in terrible crimes, probably in the commission of atrocities, making jihad with IS and other extremist organisations.
“This is something we have been tracking and dealing with for many, many months, I don’t think this video changes anything it just heightens awareness of a situation which is very grave and which we have been working on for many months.”
In the video Mr Foley, who was abducted in Syria 22 months ago, makes a statement during the five-minute video entitled “A message to America” released by the Islamic State Al-Furqan foundation.
James Foley appears clad in orange in a chilling shot from the video moments before he is murdered During the speech he said he wanted to call on family, friends and loved ones to “rise up against my real killers, the US government”.
He added: “For what will happen to me is only the result of their complacency and criminality”.
The statement, during which he is seen to pause and take deep breaths, ended with him saying he wished he could see his family again.
The IS fighter standing next to him is then seen brandishing a knife before accusing America of “aggression towards the Islamic state”.
He said: “You have plotted against us and gone far out of your way to find reasons to interfere in our affairs.
In a chilling threat in which he singles out US president Barack Obama, he says further actions in Iraq by America “will result in the bloodshed of your people”.
After the victim is apparently beheaded, another man, said to be journalist Steven Sotloff, who went missing near the border of Syria and Turkey last year, is shown at the end of the video, with the IS fighter saying his life depends on President Obama’s “next decision”.
Mr Foley’s mother Diane released a statement saying the family “have never been prouder” of him and pleaded with the kidnappers not to kill any other hostages.
“We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.
“We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages.
“Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.
“We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person. Please respect our privacy in the days ahead as we mourn and cherish Jim.”