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There's a new Jihadi John, and it's British-Indian Siddhartha Dhar

By The Rediff News Bureau
January 05, 2016 12:03 IST
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Says Dhar’s sister Konika: ‘If it is him, bloody hell am I shocked? I am going to kill him myself. He is going to come back and I’m going to kill him if he has done this.’

There’s a new ‘Jihadi John’ in town, and British intelligence agencies are none too happy that he may have slipped out to Syria from right under their noses.

When the Daesh (Islamic State) released a macabre video on Sunday showing the gruesome murder of five Syrian men whom the terror outfit denounced as spies, Britain’s security apparatus realised with shock that one of the terrorists pulling the trigger could be British-Indian Siddhartha Dhar, who converted to Islam to become Abu Rumasayah, reports the Daily Telegraph.

In September last year he was briefly arrested on suspicion of terror charges, was granted bail and promptly took a bus to Paris from where crossed over to Syria to join Daesh.

Since then Dhar had kept taunting the British security agencies by posting pictures of his new life in the Caliphate, flaunting an AK-47 etc.

Dhar’s family ‘last night admitted that the killer seen shooting a prisoner in the head in the latest Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) video, could be the 32-year-old former bouncy castle salesman from east London,’ reports Martin Evans in the newspaper, and that ‘both his mother and sister said they had watched the video, released by Isil on Sunday, and noticed similarities between the voice of the masked jihadi and Dhar.’

Since the video surfaced on Sunday, voice recognition experts have been studying it to see if the voice matched Dhar’s.

Dhar’s mother Sobita told the Daily Telegraph:  “I heard the voice, yes, but I don’t know, I’m not sure of the voice. These are the most difficult questions to answer. I just cannot say. I’m not sure within myself whether it is the truth or not.”

His sister, Konika, while conceding that the voice ‘did sound like him’, said, ‘I can't believe it. This is just so shocking for me. I don't know what the authorities are doing to confirm the identity, but I need to know if it is.’

The 32-year-old converted to Islam after marrying Aisha who his former neighbours in east London described as more devout, and that she may have led him on the path to radicalisation.

In his new avatar, Dhar said things like: ‘We believe that whenever the sharia is established, the pure Islamic state maybe in Iraq or Syria, one day the leader will wage jihad and annexe Britain into the Islamic state.

‘We are not going to forget Europe, we are not going to forget Britain, the armies will be sent here to conquer these lands.’

The Daesh video released on Sunday shows a masked gunman threatening Britain and taunting Prime Minister David Cameron as an “imbecile”.

But it is his style and mannerism that have drawn comparison with Mohammed Emwazi, dubbed ‘Jihadi John’ and who was killed in November in an American drone strike.

‘There is no doubt in my mind that it is him,’ someone who knows Dhar well told the Independent newspaper. ‘From his eyes and the shape of his face to the way he pronounces certain words, it can only be him. The seeds of extremism were within him but it is no less shocking if this is what he has become.’

Dhar’s sister Konika told the Independent: ‘If it is him, bloody hell am I shocked? I am going to kill him myself. He is going to come back and I’m going to kill him if he has done this.’

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