British authorities linked 'Jihadi John' to militant killed by US drone

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - British authorities have linked Mohammed Emwazi, a Londoner identified by US national security sources as Jihadi John, the knife-wielding militant who appeared in videos depicting the beheadings of western hostages, to another British militant killed in Somalia in a US drone attack.

A British court ruling dated December 2011 reported that Emwazi was an associate of Bilal al-Berjawi, a leader of the Somali-based militant group Al-Shabaab, a person in possession of the court ruling said.

Media reports said he helped supervise the recruitment and training of new Shabaab members.

Berjawi was wounded in a 2011 air strike on an Al-Shabaab base.

That same year, British authorities revoked his British citizenship.

British officials declined to comment on the case.

In January 2012, Berjawi was killed in a US drone strike outside Mogadishu.

According to a biographical article published in 2013 by the Combating Terrorism Centre, a research unit affiliated with the US Military Academy at West Point, New York, Berjawi was a Lebanon-born, British-educated man born in Beirut in September 1984 whose parents brought him to the United Kingdom as a child.

The article said Berjawi went to Somalia before Al-Shabaab was officially created and later "rose through the ranks of Al-Shabaab and the foreign fighter cell linked to Al-Qaeda" to become a figure who was reportedly second only to the head of Al-Qaeda's East Africa operations, Fazul Abdullah Mohammad.