Hours after British media reported that Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary is the main suspect in the beheading of American photojournalist James Foley last week, British intelligence agencies M15 and M16 identified on Sunday that the rapper is indeed jihadist John.
The positive identification, reported by British media, was aided by a photo that Bary tweeted in early August of himself wearing a military camouflage and holding a decapitated head. There was also another image that showed two decapitated bodies near a fence with four severed hears on the railing of the fence. The bodies are believed to be Syrian soldiers captured by the ISIL when the extremist group overran the military base in eastern Syria.
In addition, new photos were discovered showing Bary with plastic explosives. The second set of photos, which included an image of Bary brandishing a firearm, was captioned "Fireworks ;)" Bary's Twitter page has been taken down.
As a result of the positive identification, SAS personnel made up of groups of four-member teams, have been deployed to northern Iraq in the past two days to hunt Bary, reported the Mail.
Bary is one of the three jihadists identified by former hostages and called Beatles because of their British accent. The two others are called "George" and "Ringo," also named after the two other members of the popular 1960s boy band.
The 24-year-old rapper is the son of an Egypt-born militant now waiting for trial in Manhattan on terror charges for the bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.
Bary's build, skin tone and accent are similar to John's, plus he went to Syria in 2013 to fight in the civil war. Prior to flying to Syria, he was known as L Jinny, an aspiring rapper from West London. His music was played on BBC Radio 1.
His being a rapper and having recordings of his voice would provide investigators, who are using voice recognition technology, more ways to confirm is he is the jihadist John.
The wannabe-rapper also had come out in music videos titled Overdose, Flying High and Dreamer. Overdose, seen below, has over 8 million hits.
After being indoctrinated by an Islamic preacher named Anjem Choudary, he left the family residence in Maide Vale district in London "for the sake of Allah."
Besides Bary, other suspects in the decapitation of Foley are 30-year-old Aine Davis, a former drug dealer and an ex-gang member who has converted to Islam and has been to Syria, and Dr Shajul Islam, the sibling of a British doctor accused of kidnapping two Western war reporters whose medical licence was suspended by the National Health Service. He used to work at St Bart's Hospital.
Islam and his two older brothers, however, were released in 2013 because British journalist John Cantile and Dutch photographer Jeroen Derlmans did not testify against the siblings.
The doctor claimed he went to Syria to treat victims of the civil war, which is still ongoing.
His brother Razul had also been to Syria and is believed to be fighting with the terror group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.