ISIS appears to have unveiled a new “Jihadi John” in a video that claims to show the execution of five supposed British spies. The ten-minute film appears to want to copy the style of those that featured extremist Mohammed Emwazi as it largely focuses on a masked man with a British-sounding accent who addresses the camera directly. Emwazi was killed in November by a U.S. drone strike.
The video shows five men speaking in Arabic allegedly confessing to working as British spies. Then the English-speaking militant starts delivering his message that includes words directed straight to British Prime Minister David Cameron and threats against England while he repeatedly points a gun at the camera.
This is a message to David Cameron. Oh slave of the White House, oh mule of the Jews. How strange it is that we find ourselves today hearing an insignificant leader like you challenge the might of the Islamic State. How strange it is that the leader of a small island threatens us with a handful of planes. One would have thought you would have learned the lessons of your pathetic master in Washington and his failed campaign against Islamic State.
"Only an imbecile would dare to anger a people who love death the way that you love your life," the masked man goes on to say. "The Islamic State, our country, is here to stay. And we will continue to wage jihad, break borders and one day invade your land where we will rule by the sharia."
The five men are then all shot at point blank range. The video ends with a young child wearing military fatigues and speaking in English: “We are going to go kill the kafir [non-believers] over there.”
U.K. security agencies immediately started to try to identify the man in the video and are working on the assumption that it is a real message from ISIS. “British investigators will have to rely on voice analysis to try to establish his identity and by monitoring chatter on Twitter and other social media as well as other electronic communication to see if there are any clues,” reports the Guardian.
The video is being released shortly after a “major military setback” for ISIS considering it lost control of a large part of the Iraqi city of Ramadi, notes the BBC’s Alan Johnson. "It's possible this is aimed at distracting attention from that defeat—an effort to shock watching Westerners and shift their focus."