The new English-speaking face of ISIS threatening Britain in the group’s latest execution video also threatened Washington in a guide this past spring aimed at luring westerners to join the Islamic State.
British sources reportedly have Siddhartha Dhar, aka Abu Rumaysah, atop their list of suspects in identifying the masked spokeskiller who shot an orange-jumpsuited man in the head in the video, accusing him of being a British spy. Four other ISIS members also shot one alleged spy apiece.
And yesterday Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, the underground group of citizen journalists and activists risking and sometimes losing their lives to report from within the ISIS capital, tweeted that they believe the executioner is Abu Rumaysah.
And in 2014, he was in British custody.
Dhar, who’s close to radical cleric Anjem Choudary and marched in his pro-sharia events, was arrested in Britain in September 2014 — his sixth time — on suspicion of encouraging terrorism. He jumped bail and fled to the Islamic State with his pregnant wife, who later gave birth to a boy. British politicians were calling for an inquiry today on how he slipped through the cracks.
Media are calling him the new “Jihadi John” replacing deceased Mohammed Emwazi, the black-clad killer in the early ISIS execution videos including the murders of American journalists James Foley and Steve Sotloff. Earlier this year, Dhar wrote an essay defending Jihadi John’s right to behead.
“Take the gloves off, leave the political correctness aside and be totally honest with ourselves. Yes, violence can be justified – bombs, bullets, knives, air strikes etc. are needed for the right enemy and we should not be made to feel ashamed about it,” he wrote then, adding the “identity of Jihadi John is largely irrelevant; he is after all just another soldier following orders.”
And he’s no stranger to media: Dhar has been interviewed over the years by media outlets ranging from CNN to VICE News and was an in-studio guest on BBC and Al Jazeera, advocating sharia in Britian. He was a regular face — unmasked — at protests vowing the UK would be dominated by Islam.
Dhar was a Hindu who ran a business renting out bounce houses for kids’ parties, a life he left behind when he converted to Islam and fell in with the banned Islamist group al-Muhajiroun.
His flight to the Islamic State was a boon for ISIS: they not only got a Westerner who could speak to potential recruits in Europe and the United States, but one with the clout of having publicly fought for the implementation of sharia in the company of Choudary and on the evening news.
This past spring, Dhar penned “A Brief Guide to the Islamic State ,” a 47-page travel guide assuring would-be jihadis they’ll have all the comforts of home and featuring artwork of an ISIS invasion of Israel on the cover.
He called the founding of the Islamic State on June 29, 2014, a “date right up there with 11th September 2001.”
Dhar included an entire chapter on food, describing “succulent” shawarma with mayo, “scrumptious” shish kebab, vegetarian options such as falafel on “wholesome flatbread,” and ‘ijaa — “a tempting choice for the bargain hunter” that subs fried eggs for falafel in a sandwich. The pickles “beat anything from your local Tescos or Walmart.” To drink, there are “very popular” fruity cocktails — “you can even spoil yourself by adding milk, sugar and crushed ice” — and “delightful, creamy and fresh” milk. “If you were worried about leaving behind your local Costa Coffee then you will be happy to know that the Caliphate serves some of the best lattes and cappuccinos around.”
For the jihadi sweet tooth, Dhar noted, ISIS ice cream is “fluffy, velvety and sweet” and “Snickers, Kit Kat, Bounty, Twix, Kinder Surprise, Cadburys — yes, yes we have it all.”
But for all the lighter pages about surviving the weather in the Islamic State to their fondness for Kias and Hyundais, or his promotion of ISIS’ renewable energy development or the school system (“There are no classes promoting homosexuality, evolution, music, drama, interfaith and the rest of the rubbish taught in non-Muslim schools”), the guide ends on an ominous note.
“America simply does not have the stomach for the fight ahead, it is too long and difficult,” Dhar wrote. “Diehard followers of Western values will, no doubt, bite their fingertips in rage at this conclusion, but is it really that hard to believe?”
“When we descend on the streets of London, Paris and Washington the taste will be far bitterer, because not only will we spill your blood, but we will also demolish your statues, erase your history and, most painfully, convert your children who will then go on to champion our name and curse their forefathers,” he vowed.
Six months later, 130 were killed in a string of coordinated ISIS attacks across Paris on a busy Friday night.
In the latest ISIS video, the man believed to be Dhar directs his venom at British Prime Minister David Cameron, “our slave of the White House, our mule of the Jews.”
“It seems like you, just like your predecessors Blair and Brown, are just as arrogant and foolish. In fact, David, you are more of an imbecile,” he says. “…This time when you lose, your children will inherit your defeat and remember you as the fools who thought you could fight the Islamic State.”
The 4-year-old boy seen at the end of the ISIS video, pointing and threatening to kill “kuffar” [disbelievers] in Britain, is not related to Dhar.
But he’s also a Brit.
Channel 4 News reported that the boy’s grandfather recognized the kid, whose mother ran off to Syria with the boy in 2013 when she was 22 years old.
The woman, a British-Nigerian named Grace Dare, converted from Christianity to Islam when she was 18 years old. She appeared in a Channel 4 report in 2013 about British women joining jihad in Syria.”If I thought Islam was an oppressive religion, I would have left Islam. Islam has made me free,” Dare said.
In 2014, she posted a Twitter photo showing the boy, Isa, playing with an AK-47.
His grandfather, Henry Dare, told The Sun that he spoke with his grandson on the phone shortly before the video was released and Isa pleaded with his grandpa to “come and get me.”
The grandfather says he called police twice about his daughter’s radical transformation to Islam — at the mosque attended by the killers of British Army soldier Lee Rigby — but was told that she was free to change her religion.