FBI identifies militant beheading videos of the Islamic State
WASHINGTON – The masked militant Islamic state seen in the videos of the beheading of two Americans has been identified, said the FBI director, James Comey, on Thursday, but without giving his name or nationality.
The videos of the executions of journalists Americans James Foley and Steven Sotloff show a masked militant Islamic State with a knife and speaking English with a British accent.
Linked to a European government source involved with the investigation said the accent indicated that the man was from London, probably of a community of Asian immigrants. Authorities of the United States and the European Union said that the research was conducted by British government agencies.
“I believe that we have identified. I will not tell you who think it is, “said Comey to a small group of reporters. He said knowing the nationality of the man, but refused to give details to the press.
The beheadings themselves are not displayed in the filming, disclosed in August and September. The videos suggest that the masked militant seems to be who conducted the executions, although the show just making a speech. After the speech, the video is cut and passes images of decapitated bodies.
The video implies that the disguised man is the person who carried out the executions, but investigators are still working to determine who carried out the beheadings.
The British ambassador to the United States, Peter Westmacott, told the television network CNN shortly after the murder of Foley in August that Britain is making a big effort to identify the suspect using voice recognition technology. Westmacott said at the time that authorities were close to identifying the man.
Comey told reporters that knows about a dozen Americans are fighting with militants in Syria, and that many of those who fought in the country have returned to the United States. Previously, American officials said that about 100 Americans joined the Islamic State.