The video showing what the fifth beheading victim of the Islamic State militant known as Jihadi John was released just hours after reports emerged that he was injured in an allied air strike.
The masked fanatic, who is thought to be British and speaks with a London accent, is believed to be responsible for the killings of Britons David Haines and Alan Henning and Americans James Foley, Steven Sotloff, and now Peter Kassig.
Footage of Mr Kassig’s death was posted online yesterday but it is not known whether it was made before the reported US-led air strike on a summit of IS commanders.
It is claimed he was taken to hospital after narrowly escaping death in the raid on the town of Al Qaim, in Anbar province, near Iraq’s border with Syria, which is said to have taken place on November 8.
British prime minister David Cameron said earlier yesterday that he wants Jihadi John to face justice.
Mr Cameron declined to comment on the specific operation, but said the message should go out to anyone considering travelling to Syria or Iraq to fight for the militant group that they are “putting themselves in harm’s way”.
Speaking at a press conference at the G20 summit in Australia, Mr Cameron said: “You should be in no doubt that I want Jihadi John to face justice for the appalling acts that have been carried out in Syria, but I wouldn’t make any comment on individual issues and strikes. The point is clear that if people travel to Syria or Iraq in order to conduct terror operations against British people, British citizens or people back here in Britain, then they are putting themselves in harm’s way.”
Jihadi John has become one of the world’s most wanted men since the release of the first beheading footage — the killing of US journalist James Foley — on August 19.
Only his eyes are visible during the videos and no one has officially confirmed who he is.
In September, FBI director James Comey revealed that intelligence services had identified the man. However, he refused to give the individual’s name or nationality publicly.
Mr Comey did not say whether the FBI believes the man actually carries out the murders himself or if that is done by someone else when the camera is turned off.
The release of yet another beheading video will intensify international efforts to track down Jihadi John.
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