The masked ISIS militant seen beheading prisoners in numerous videos has been identified as a 26-year-old Londoner.
Mohammed Emwazi, a 26-year-old Kuwaiti-born computer programming graduate, was described by a man who had known him since 2009, British advocacy group director Asim Qureshi, as being an “extremely kind, humble” young person. Friends interviewed by British media suggested that interrogation and harassment by UK security forces after he was deported from Tanzania in 2009 had radicalised him. An MI5 operative supposedly accused him of having tried to join the militant Somali group Al-Shabaab while he was in East Africa.
Historial artefacts destroyed by ISIS
ISIS released a five-minute video on Thursday showing militants destroying ancient artefacts in an Iraqi museum. Hammers were used to shatter toppled statues in Mosul, with a voiceover justifying the destruction of statues dating from the Assyrian and Akkadian empires, circa 9oo to 2700BC, by quoting a Qur’anic verse on idol worship. A professor from the archaeology college in Mosul, Amir al-Jumaili, told AP the videos were authentic, and said the event was a catastrophe for archeology. ISIS had earlier plundered Mosul’s central library, burning 100,000 books and manuscripts.
Drone-flying Al Jazeera journalists released
The three Al Jazeera journalists arrested for flying a drone in Paris earlier this week were questioned by French police on Thursday and released after 19 hours in custody. The journalist responsible for operating the drone will face court next week for flying it without a license. The offence carries a 75,000 euro fine and a maximum one-year prison sentence under French law. Unidentified drones that hovered around several iconic Parisian sites caused a security scare in the country, which is on high alert after recent fatal jihadist attacks.
Bin Laden adviser faces life in jail
A New York jury has convicted Saudi man Khalid al-Fawwaz on four counts of plotting attacks on US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania in 1998, killing 224 and injuring 4000. Federal prosecutors told the jury Al-Fawwaz served as spokesman for Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in the UK and ran terrorist training camps in Afghanistan in the 90s. The 52-year-old, arrested in London in 1998, was extradited to the United States in 2012. He faces life imprisonment for plotting to kill US citizens. – Compiled from web sources by Jion Legaspi