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The notorious British-Kuwaiti Islamic State terrorist Mohammed Emwazi, better known as“Jihadi John,” has reportedly vowed to return to the UK in order to “cut the heads” of non-believers.
Footage of Emzawi, obtained by the UK’s Daily Mail and released on Saturday, revealed the face of the the man who allegedly took part in the gruesome beheadings of at least seven hostages in Syria, fully unmasked for the first time.
According to the report, Emwazi promises a triumphant return to the UK with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, to carry on the group’s jihadist agenda.
“I am Mohammed Emwazi. I will soon go back to Britain with the Khalifa [Baghdadi]. We will kill the kuffar [non-believers],” he adds.
Emwazi has not been seen or heard from since the group released a video of the beheading of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto in January.
The grainy footage released Saturday was said to have been filmed earlier this summer on a cellphone camera in Deir Ezzor, a town in Syria held by IS.
While the complete footage was not released by the website, a brief clip was made available online, and shows Emwazi standing near the back of a flatbed truck that has a grenade launcher mounted on it.
The film was secretly obtained by fighters of the Free Syrian Army rebel group, who sent it to one of their colleagues, known as Abu Rashid, in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia. Abu Rashid turned the footage over to Bulgarian police.
The newspaper said it passed the full footage on to the Metropolitan Police and Britain’s security services.
If the footage of Emwazi is indeed from earlier this summer, it would appear to contradict recent reports to the effect that the British jihadist was on the run in Syria or Libya, for fear that his exposed identity had rendered him useless to IS.
UK newspapers reported in July that the former West Londoner was “terrified by the publicity when he was identified as the murderer of British and American hostages and fears being hunted down.”
Emwazi has been seen in a number of IS propaganda videos beheading Western prisoners, including Israeli-American journalist Steven Sotloff, American journalist James Foley and British aid worker Alan Henning.
The former London resident emigrated to the UK from his native Kuwait when he was 6, and first gained infamy after he beheaded Foley in August 2014.
The Islamic State later produced a series of videos featuring Emwazi beheading Sotloff and a number of other Westerners, while threatening world leaders from behind a black mask — in perfect English and with an unmistakable London accent.
While Emwazi has been a high-value target for Western security agencies, he has successfully evaded coalition airstrikes by constantly changing his location with his security detail, making it incredibly difficult to pinpoint him.
Prior to joining the extremist group, Emwazi was considered a model student at the University of Westminster, where he studied information systems and business management from 2006 to 2009. Records indicate that he was two modules short of obtaining his degree.
Sara Miller contributed to this report.