ISIS Update: Executioner of James Foley with British Accent Identified as ‘John’

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By Reissa Su | August 21, 2014 4:50 PM EST

A new report has claimed the ISIS member with a British accent who beheaded U.S. journalist, James Foely, has been identified as "John." A trio of Islamic State militants with British roots goes by the names of the legendary Beatles among their hostages in Syria. The suspected ringleader's name is apparently in reference to popular Beatles member, John Lennon. 

Reuters
A masked Islamic State militant holding a knife speaks next to man purported to be U.S. journalist James Foley at an unknown location in this still image from an undated video posted on a social media website.

In a report by the Guardian, the ISIS member who was identified as Foley's executioner has called himself "John." Former hostages who were interviewed have accustomed themselves to associate the names of the three militants to the Beatles because of their upbringing and undeniable British accents.

According to former hostages, the three ISIS members had long served as guards of hostages. One of them is the suspected executioner of Foley who was seen in the graphic video. He was described as a "smart, well-schooled" man and a true follower of radical Islam.

Since the video was released for public consumption, linguistic experts have analysed the voice of the Foley's murderer. They agreed that the voice had a definite British accent and the man could have been from London.

The militant known as "John" and his two comrades were tasked to guard the group's hostages held in Raqqa, an ISIS stronghold.

The British suspect was the same man who allegedly took charge of negotiations with families for a possible release of hostages. According to several reports, the parents of the beheaded journalist were trying to raise money as ransom, but their son was killed before they could deliver.

The British government has vowed to stop ISIS supporters from recruiting in London. British Prime Minister David Cameron said the government will do all it can to prevent citizens from joining the militants in Iraq and Syria.

Intelligence authorities continue to find more clues to reveal the identity of Foley's executioner. Reports have emerged that about 400 British fighters have joined the ranks of ISIS.

After Foley was executed, the ISIS member believed to be "John" has warned that another U.S. journalist, Steven Sotloff, would soon be killed.

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(Photo: Reuters / Social Media Website via REUTERS TV)
A masked Islamic State militant holding a knife speaks next to man purported to be U.S. journalist James Foley at an unknown location in this still image from an undated video posted on a social media website.
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