Infamous ISIS Beheader 'Jihadi John' Is Identified As London Man

The member of the Islamic State who has gruesomely beheaded several hostages on video in the past six months has finally been identified.

According to the Washington Post, the masked executioner the world has so far known only as "Jihadi John" is a British man born in Kuwait named Mohammed Emwazi.

He was raised by a financially comfortable family in a middle-class, West London neighborhood and holds a degree in computer programming from the University of Westminster.

He is said to be in his mid-20s.

A close friend of Emwazi told the Post,

I have no doubt that Mohammed is Jihadi John. He was like a brother to me... I am sure it is him.

Others who knew Emwazi described him as very style-conscious, well-mannered and so dedicated to Islam he would constantly make sure he never locked eyes with a woman.

They said he became radicalized after an unsuccessful safari trip with two friends to Tanzania in May of 2009.

The three were detained by police once they reached their destination and deported for unspecified reasons.

Emwazi met with Asim Qureshi, research director of human rights group, CAGE, the following fall.

Qureshi said,

Mohammed was quite incensed by his treatment, that he had been very unfairly treated.

He moved to Kuwait not long after the meeting and got a job with a computer company.

Emwazi also met a woman there he planned to marry.

But counterterrorism officials detained him -- for unspecified reasons once again -- when he came back to Britain in 2010 and forbade him from returning to Kuwait.

Emwazi wrote in an email to Qureshi in June of that year,

I feel like a prisoner, only not in a cage, in London. A person imprisoned & controlled by security service men, stopping me from living my new life in my birthplace & country, Kuwait.

The last time Qureshi was contacted by Emwazi was January 2012.

He had received an email from the future jihadist asking how he could leave Britain when it seemed impossible to do so.

Qureshi told the Washington Post,

This is a young man who was ready to exhaust every single kind of avenue within the machinery of the state to bring a change for his personal situation.

Emwazi somehow made it to Syria later that year and, at some point afterward, joined the Islamic State.

He has since been seen beheading numerous Westerners on videos released by the militant group, most notably American photojournalist James Foley.

Citations: Islamic State killer is identified as Londoner Mohammed Emwazi (The Washington Post)