FROM SPOILED PUNK TO JIHADI JOHN: Released Emails Show Slow Radicalization Of “Jihadi John”

Published on February 28, 2015

Building an ISIS executioner doesn’t just happen overnight. As reported by David Mack from BuzzFeed, Mohammed Emwazi took some years to become the executioner gone viral.

Emwazi, a 26-year-old Kuwaiti-born man raised in London, wrote emails over several years complaining of his “tyrannical” treatment by the British government to CAGE,an advocacy group that campaigns against the ill-treatment of Muslims under anti-terror laws.

On Saturday, the group released what it said were its email communications with Emwazi between 2009 and 2012. Selections of the emails were reported by BuzzFeed News on Friday, after being first covered by Channel 4 News.

“They document his persistence in accessing due process through legal, political, diplomatic, and other channels over the entire period until our last contact with him in January 2012,” CAGE said on its website.

CAGE has faced accusations by some in the U.K. that it released the emails to paint the British authorities as villains who pushed Emwazi towards extremism.

Emwazi was first questioned by security services in 2010 after returning to the U.K. from what he said was a safari in Tanzania.

In an email dated June 3, 2010, Emwazi, using the name “Mohammed Al-Zuhary”, emailed CAGE, detailing how he had been stopped at London’s Heathrow airport the day before as he tried to travel to Kuwait:

“One of [the security officials] got aggressive with me, he pushed me to the wall and started ‘gripsing’ onto the wall, I was just baffled I did not know why he had done that and after this long 6hour interview, fingerprinting and searching. When I asked for their names they said ‘We don’t give out our names’.”

Emwazi later wrote the officer had pushed him against the wall in a room without security cameras because he had tried to use his cell phone during the interview. He said the officer only relented when he realized Emwazi was having difficulty breathing.

CAGE encouraged him to file formal complaints against the officer, which Emwazi said he did.

In a subsequent email detailing the same June 2, 2010, interrogation, Emwazi complained of one security officer’s treatment of the Qur’an.

Read more: Buzz Feed