Jihadi John

Photo en civil et en tunique

Suite à l’assassinat de James Foley, le monde a découvert avec effroi un homme tout habillé de noir, à l’aspect menaçant. Surnommé Jihadi John par ses détenus, cet homme incarne aux yeux de l’occident l’horreur qu’est l’État islamique. Son nom a été révélé en février dernier : Mohammed Emwazi. Cette révélation a suscité de nombreuses interrogations.


Jihadi John is the nickname given to a British member of the Islamic State (ISIS) by the press for his English accent. In August 2014 , a French prisoner who was held captive by John said that the man belonged to a group of British jihadists, who called themselves The Beatles, which is why prisoners named him John in reference to John Lennon, the leader of the Beatles. Some time after Foley’s execution, it was revealed that the main suspect was in fact a former rapper from London whose name was Abdel (Majed Abdel) Bary. But the real name was revealed later by The Washington Post on February 26. Mohammed Emwazi is a British citizen born in 1988 in Kuwait from a wealthy family. He is a baseball fan described by his teacher as a “good guy”. The year 2009 “messed up his life“: after he obtained a degree in computer programming in London he went to Tanzania in order to join the jihadist group Al-Sheba in Somalia, but it was a failure. Between 2009 and 2010 he was in Kuwait before going to Syria in 2012.

But how could somebody suspected of being dangerous and under the surveillance of Britain’s secret services (MI5) for five years have joined Syria so easily?

David Cameron

Even if MI5 made a mistake, David Cameron highlighted the great work carried out by the secret services to protect the British population. In fact MI5 tried to use Emwazi as an asset in the fight against ISIS by enlisting him as an informer in the Syrian area. After the identification of Emwazi, Cameron set up a strategy for the security services: “We will do everything we can with the police, the security services, with all that we have at our disposal, to find these people and put them out of action”. According to Olivier Guitta, managing director of security and risk consultancy GlobalStrat in London, “to monitor one person you need 30 officers, so if you have in England 1,000 people that are on your list, you need 30,000 officers. We don’t have that”.

Our societies don’t have the human abilities and the resources to stop terrorism within countries as big as the United Kingdom. There is a new kind of struggle which will involve new measures, like the one France took with a anti-propaganda cell to fight against ISIS (internet is one of the biggest fighting territories for the Islamic State).

Clément COULOMBIER & Matthieu SAFFRE



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