John Simpson, Matt Charles, Duncan Gardham
Last updated at 10:49AM, August 21 2014
British jihadists gloated and cracked jokes as news of James Foley’s death spread yesterday.
Some posted in Arabic, others in English. All legitimised the brutal act as religiously ordained.
Abu Aminah, under the username of @ghazisami, tweeted: “My hopes and prayers in this whole James Foley fiasco goes to the mujahid executioner. May Allah keep him and his family safe.” He used verses from the Koran and hadiths to support the beheading. Indicating that he was British, he said of the knifeman: “Half of UK Pakis speak like that.”
Abul Muthanna, a self-described “soldier of the Islamic State”, described the British “brother” as a “lion”. Tweeting under the username of @abulmuthanna313, he said: “They went on a mad one.” He later wrote: “U can call our acts horrific but calling us cowards? Our men love death like u love life, they come at u with explosive belts #DeathSeekers”.
The writer is thought to be Nasser Muthana, 20, from Cardiff. His younger brother Aseel, 17, and their friend Reyaad Khan, 20, are among about 500 British jihadists believed to have fought alongside IS forces in Syria and Iraq.
Anjem Choudary, the radical British preacher, said that the killing was the result of the bombing by “America and its allies” and added: “You reap what you sow. The effect has a cause.” He said that Foley “got in the way” and was “from their perspective the voice of the Americans and British who has to sell his piece and is not in any way shape or form someone independent”.
He said there was “no need” for journalists to go to Syria to report and they should “keep clear and allow the implementation of the Shariah”. “Muslims don’t rely on Western journalists,” he added.
Mr Choudary refused to condemn the killing and said it was irrelevant that the man was from Britain and a British passport was “just a travel document”.
But he added: “Muslims in Britain are much more politicised than other western countries. They talk about jihad, Shariah and call for the khilafah [Muslim state] while others are talking about halal food and circumcision. I am not surprised so many are currently going to Syria and are prepared to sacrifice their lives abroad.”
Junaid Hussain, 19, a British hacker, is believed to have slipped police supervision and escaped to Syria after serving a jail sentence for stealing personal information about Tony Blair.
Calling himself Abu Abdullah al-Britani, he wrote on Twitter: “And know that the one who kills for the sake of His Lord will never go to the same place as the one he killed.”
Less than two weeks ago, Mr Hussain posted a photo of a fellow fighter sitting in the front seat of a vehicle, captioned: “From the streets of London to the dirt roads of Jihad.” He also posted pictures of various rifles and his “little Princess” dressed in a full niqab. He has encouraged his followers to take action, saying: “Some of you will only move when it is your mum in that prison and your wife that has been raped.”
Abu Turaab al-Kanadi, a Canadian fighter with the username of @AlTuraabSVD, made light of the decapitation, saying that it was “time to play soccer”.
Another fighter calling himself Abu dhar al-muhajir tweeted: “We have heard that Roman blood is very delicious, and we have come here to enjoy it”. He added: “Revenge is sweet.”
Another man, tweeting under the name Life of a Mujahid, wrote: “Reason for American journalists or civilians being killed in response to American crimes against Muslims is, they haven’t left us a choice. You have more technology doesn’t mean you kill millions of innocents . . . An eye for an eye!”
Abu Bakr Al-Janabi, who tweeted images of other Isis fighters brandishing knives in what he said was preparation for further beheadings, wrote: “The man who carried out the execution was British. which send a signal by saying ‘We are everywhere, we will come after you’.”
However, one fighter — @mujahid4life — tweeted that the killing had been rash: “The airstrikes will immensely increase (in my opinion). If it does, did Beheading him serve it’s purpose? Or was he more Valuable as a bargaining chip alive.”