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James Foley Investigation: ‘Jihadi John’ Suspect Identified, Beheading Video May Have Been Staged

As the manhunt for the killers behind James Foley’s execution continues, new details about who may have been behind the executioner’s mask have emerged.

British authorities have identified a primary suspect in the beheading of journalist James Foley. Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary of West London – a hip-hop artist who once appeared on BBC radio – is now being investigated for his involvement in the heinous, international crime.

Bary is the son of an Egyptian terrorist awaiting trial in New York for the 1998 bombing of embassies in Tanzania and Kenya. He also previously tweeted a picture of himself – in camouflage gear – holding a severed head.

The balaclava in that self- tweeted photo by Bary matches the executioner known as ‘Jihadi John’ in the execution video. Bary’s build also matches ‘John’, making him a prime suspect in the beheading of the journalist.

At the same time as the 23-year-old Londoner has emerged as a top suspect, though, a group of forensic examiners hired by the UK Times have cast doubt on whether the man seen in the video executing Foley is the real killer.

“I think it has been staged,” said one forensic expert said. “My feeling is that the execution may have happened after the camera was stopped.”

The team of experts pointed to a number of clues in the video that suggest that what was seen on the tape is not Foley’s actual death, including the lack of blood and incision on Foley’s neck as well as the sounds Foley made in the video.

They did stress, however, that while the tape may have not have shown the execution as it happened, there is no doubt Foley died at the hands of his captors.

The Daily Mail has also reported that approximately a dozen counter-terrorism experts from the United States are expected to arrive in the UK in the next few days, kicking the hunt for Foley’s killers into high gear.

Photo Credit: Twitter

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.