Drone strike ‘kills’ Daesh man who beheaded hostages

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Mohammed Emwazi became notorious for appearances in gruesome internet videos depicting execution of Daesh prisoners

LONDON – A Daesh militant who became notorious for his role in videos showing Western hostages being beheaded has reportedly been killed in a U.S. drone strike.

Kuwait-born Mohammed Emwazi, 27, who was raised in the U.K., appeared in videos showing the deaths of British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, and U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, among others.

He was targeted in a U.S. air strike on Thursday in the Syrian town of Raqqa, which has long been Daesh’s center of operations.

Emwazi’s actions and his British origins led some media outlets, particularly in the British tabloid press, to dub him ‘Jihadi John’.

An unnamed senior military source quoted by the BBC said there is a “high degree of certainty” that he was killed in the attack, which was conducted on a vehicle by a drone.

Emwazi had been “tracked carefully over a period of time”, a U.S. official told the broadcaster.

The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed an operation targeting Emwazi had taken place, adding: “We are assessing the results of tonight’s operation and will provide additional information as and where appropriate.”

A spokeswoman for British Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We are aware of the U.S. statement about the air strike targeting Mohammed Emwazi. Like them, we are not commenting further at this stage.”

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