Islamist militant Mohammed Emwazi, identified as “Jihadi John”, was a member of a network in contact with one of the men convicted of trying to bomb London’s underground railway in 2005, according to the British government.
Court papers related to 2011 and 2013 British legal hearings, reviewed by Reuters and publicly available on the internet, offer a glimpse of Emwazi’s life in London before he left for Syria. They show that Emwazi had two London associates, identified only as Iranian-born “CE” and Ethiopian-born “J1.”
Last week, US security forces revealed that the masked man shown beheading foreign hostages and speaking with a British accent in Islamic State videos, was Emwazi. British media had dubbed him as “Jihadi John”.
The papers, reported in the Observer and Sunday Telegraph newspapers, show that Emwazi was known to Britain’s security services as early as 2011 and that they believed he was part of a group involved in procuring funds and equipment “for terrorism-related purposes” in Somalia.
They show that authorities thought Emwazi was part of a network that numbered at least 12 people, Reuters reported.
One of the same network’s members, “J1″, spoke on the phone with Hussain Osman, one of the men convicted in connection with an unsuccessful attempt to blow up the London underground in 2005, on the day of the failed attack itself, the papers show.
British Islamists killed 52 people in an attack on London’s transport network on July 7, 2005. Another group of Islamists — of which Osman was one — tried and failed to pull off a second attack two weeks later.
Osman, who like “J1″ was also born in Ethiopia, was convicted by a London court of conspiracy to murder in 2007 and sentenced to a minimum of 40 years in prison.
The same documents show that “J1″, Emwazi’s associate, was stopped by police in Scotland in 2004 with three others wearing plastic gloves. The men said they were on their way to an area where the authorities said an extremist training camp was being held.
The camp’s organizer, a man identified in court papers only as Hamid, was subsequently convicted of soliciting to murder and of providing terrorism training.
Four of the men involved in the failed London bombings had attended a similar camp organized by Hamid earlier that same year, the court papers show.
The 2011 court papers pertained to a case between the British government and “CE” over the authorities’ decision to relocate him outside London as a preventive measure, the report said.
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