The US has designated as global terrorist Indian-origin Islamic State militant from Britain Siddhartha Dhar who is considered to have replaced the dreaded group’s executioner Mohammad Emwazi, known as “Jihadi John”.
A Belgian-Moroccan citizen, Abdelatif Gaini, was also designated as a global terrorist along with Dhar by the US.
The US has designated two ISIS members Dhar and Gaini, as Specially Designated Global Terrorists and imposes sanctions on them for committing or posing a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism that threaten the security of US nationals or the national security, a state department spokesperson said yesterday in a statement.
Nihad Barakat, a Yazidi teenager held as a sex slave by ISIS, was quoted as saying by the Independent in May 2016 that she was kidnapped and trafficked by Dhar, who was based in Mosul, the group’s former stronghold in Iraq.
Here is all you should know about Indian-origin global terrorist - 'new Jihadi John'
1. 32-year-old Siddhartha Dhar, also known as Abu Rumaysah, was born in London in a Hindu family.
2. He converted to Islam, more than 10 years ago, after meeting his now-wife.
3. Dhar ran a business renting out bouncy castles in London before converting to Islam and joining radical Islamist group al-Muhajiroun.
4. Following his conversion, he became a leading member and speaker for the al-Muhajiroun network.
5. He was arrested in 2014 by terror cops but managed to flee Britain to Syria with his pregnant wife and their four children.
6. Police had banned him from travelling and ordered him to hand in his passport. However, he boarded a coach for Paris at London's Victoria Station, along with his wife and children.
7. Weeks later, he announced his arrival in Syria by posting an image online of himself holding a rifle, and his newborn and fourth child.
8. In May last year, he had published a sort of travel guide for would-be fellow travellers. The 40-page document, which opens with an image of a fictional battle on the edge of Jerusalem, is designed to encourage Muslims to join Islamic State.
9. In the months leading up to his arrest, Dhar was accused of calling for the imposition of Sharia law in Britain.
10. Dhar's former neighbours from Walthamstow in east London claimed that his wife was more devout than him and she may have put him on the path to extremism.
11. He is believed to be the masked leader who appeared in a January 2016 ISIS video of the execution of several prisoners ISIS accused of spying for the UK, the state department said.
With inputs from PTI