Unmasking Jihadi John: Anatomy of a Terrorist (2019) Movie Script

MAN 2:
MAN 2:
( soft violin music )
( man speaking English )
This is James Wright Foley,
an American citizen
of your country.
The Foley video,
partly the image,
but even more
the voice of his captor
was really shocking
because it was so clearly
a British London accent.
The way that he spoke
into the camera, his demeanor,
his accent, we'd never seen
anything like this before.
We then obviously had
a race to find out who he was.
His size, his hands,
but above all his voice
made identifying him quite easy.
It was very distinctive,
and within hours we had a name
for that individual,
Mohammed Emwazi.
Mohammed Emwazi:
You are no longer
fighting an insurgency,
we are an Islamic army
and a state.
You saw a masked man
with a knife,
and he sent this message that
the Islamic State was here,
it was not Al-Qaeda,
everyone knew about Al-Qaeda,
but ISIS, Al-Baghdadi,
these guys were different,
they were this new brand.
The Islamic State could not
have planned it any better,
if there was one thing
that I think contributed
to the rise of his fame
and the expansion
of his own message,
was the fact that
the international news media
called him "Jihadi John."
Man 2:
Jihadi John, he knows
that we're coming after him,
he went to great lengths
to prevent being captured.
He didn't want to get captured,
he didn't want to get killed.
How did you go
from this conservative,
sports-loving teenager
to somebody who's splashed
with the arterial blood
of the men he's beheading?
This is not just
a subtle transformation,
this is literally
going from nothing
to everything
with little in between.
( soft violin music )
( bombs exploding )
( bomb exploding )
( bomb exploding )
Mohammed Emwazi,
he had an interesting journey,
but not one that's particularly
different to other people.
He started off in Kuwait
where his family were
a persecuted minority.
They were known
as the Bedoon tribe
with people who were not
recognized nationally
by the Kuwaiti government.
His father was more
successful than most Bedoon
because his father
was a police officer
and his mother was a Yemeni.
So, the Emwazis,
like lots of Bedoon,
were considering where to go
in terms of escaping
the persecution,
and they'd heard
good stories about London.
So the Emwazis
with little Mohammed in 1993,
when he was about
six years old,
packed their bags
and headed for London.
And they were then subsequently
given asylum in the UK.
Robert Verkaik:
They moved into
a small flat in Maida Vale.
His father, Jassem,
he began work as a cab driver
and they began to
build a family.
For Mohammed,
his first school
was a Church of England
primary school.
Dr. Emman El-Badawy:
And Emwazi spent
his life growing up
as somebody who I guess
was always wondering
about his identity,
someone who's family had
to leave their home country
because of their identity,
and then subsequently
trying to figure out
how he fits into this new
society in the heart of the UK.
He supported Manchester United,
but he also liked pop
groups like S Club 7.
There's people try
to put your down
Just walk on by,
don't turn around
You only have to
answer to yourself
In his year book
at primary school
he said his big dream was to be
a Manchester United
football player.
It's all he wanted to do.
Mohammed was in year 10
when I started as Head.
He wasn't a particularly
noticeable young person.
( children chattering )
Woman 2:
I met Mohammed through teaching
English for about a year,
so I didn't teach
him for very long,
but the family I grew
to know really well
because his younger sister
was then in my next year group.
He wasn't vocal, he wasn't
particularly aggressive,
he was just a kind of,
like a passenger.
I always see Mohammed
as like a passenger.
He was much more of a follower
than he was a leader.
He kind of hunched and tried
to make eye contact with me.
He found that difficult.
He often walked around
covering his mouth
and sometimes some young
boys would tease him
about his breath,
but that was, I think,
it was more of
an insecurity for him.
If kids starting baiting him
about his breath, he'd react.
They'd start ganging up on him
and they knew which buttons
to press with Emwazi.
It just shows how kind
of vulnerable he was.
He was slightly strange.
I wouldn't say he was a misfit.
I think that's probably
a bit too pejorative,
but I think he wasn't
necessarily sure
exactly where he fitted in.
On the playing field where
the boys would play football,
I remember one time
I confiscated the ball
because I was being
hit every second.
At one point,
Mohammed was nearby,
and I kind of looked at him.
"Wasn't me miss."
I said,
"Okay, just move on."
He wasn't argumentative,
he wasn't rude,
he wasn't aggressive.
He just was very pliable,
he just would... just be.
( speaking in foreign language )
Have you finished every level?
( speaking in foreign language )
Claudia Giarruso:
But the few occasions
I would take the class
into the computer room,
Mohammed would gravitate
to those computers.
He would love to be
in the computer room
and it's almost
like he came alive
when he was in
front of a screen.
In away it was kind of a world
that he could escape to.
I think it is useful
to begin at the beginning,
you know, where did
ISIS actually begin?
Prior to 2010,
no one knew who this
guy called Al-Badri was.
He was this unassuming
individual brought up
in Samarra,
east of the Tigris in Iraq,
and he buried himself in
religious text and scripture.
He was obsessed
with the debates
and disputes around
the contemporary called jihad.
He was essentially a bookworm.
Al-Badri later changed
his name to Al-Baghdadi.
But he'd also come into
contact in the early 2000s
with a notorious member of
Al-Qaeda called Zarqawi.
( speaking in foreign language )
Zarqawi, a very effective,
charismatic, superior leader.
Zarqawi was a master of
the management of violence.
- ( gun exploding )
- ( bombs exploding )
So he led the insurgency
against the coalition
and Zarqawi ended up
pioneering the business model
of suicide bombers.
- ( bombs exploding )
- ( sirens whirring )
And with the Islamist views
that Al-Baghdadi had developed,
combined with the views
that Zarqawi communicated,
he became
incredibly influenced.
Baghdadi was well placed
to network and recruit
for Al-Qaeda and particularly
Zarqawi's version of Al-Qaeda.
And so, I see a distinct
difference between the two.
Zarqawi had a plan and he
ruthlessly executed that plan,
whereas Al-Baghdadi had a
vision for what he wanted to do
and a vision has
a longer-term timeline
and it has a broader set of
aspirations and expectations.
( upbeat techno music )
( train whirling )
As Emwazi progresses
through his teenage years
he's drinking, his friends
say he loves clubbing,
he's smoking cannabis.
He's got a reputation for
being a bit of a party animal.
So, my perception of him once
he got into the sixth form,
and he-- obviously he wanted
to go to university,
but he did become less
willing to fit in.
The level of defiance
in him grew,
and I remember occasions when
he was asked to leave lessons
because he just wasn't working.
Some of his older friends
in the community
are part of street gangs.
This is another theme
in Emwazi's life.
He's very much
influenced by older men.
So, all key figures in his life
tend to be people
who he can look up to
and some of the gang members
were involved in crime,
one or two served
jail terms for stealing bikes,
drugs offenses.
Emwazi himself was
arrested and put on trial
for a string of bike robberies.
He was eventually
acquitted of that,
but by association
he was being drawn into
this kind of crime lifestyle.
He was part of
a very supportive,
inclusive school environment
and going on to university
a lot of those kinds of support
structures are withdrawn
and I think that for any
vulnerable young person
being part of a very big
faceless university community
is where some of those
issues would have set in.
Like we've said, he was one of
those invisible young people
that we assume
everything is okay,
and in hindsight it
obviously wasn't.
( speaking in foreign language )
If you try to look at
the physical origins
of the Islamic State
as a fighting force,
the seeds were sown in
places like Camp Bucca,
News reporter:
This is a new frontline
in the fight against
terrorism, Camp Bucca,
the United States biggest
detention facility in Iraq.
Inside Camp Bucca
there are more than
19,000 civilian detainees.
They are neither criminals,
nor prisoners of war.
There's a significant amount
of mystery about Baghdadi
and the circumstances
of his life
that ultimately resulted
in him being incarcerated
in Camp Bucca.
He knew that the best way for
him to survive in that camp
was to take on the persona of
a senior respected individual
in the camp community
by gaining the trust
of the US military.
When I took over
command of the surge
as a four star in early 2007,
it was quickly apparent to me
that this was
almost a terrorist
training university.
We had failed to remove
the true extremists
from the midst
of the population
where they were proselytizing
and essentially running
these particular areas.
General David Petraeus:
These are all Al-Qaeda,
but this is not a place
that you want to hang around
so we really don't wanna
stand here that much longer
because they will now
organize around us
and you can already see
the lieutenant's ready to move.
- Man: If you go back just.
- Petraeus: Yep.
Look at them think, look at them
put two and two together.
They are watching,
when I'm looking at them here,
it's just like they are watching
really, really carefully.
I know, I know that,
and not only that,
there's another unique matter,
notice how because they
are a collective society
they don't think alone.
They're thinking
on groups of three to five
with somebody else
standing behind asking them
to ask the question
so he doesn't get identified.
Inside a compound like this,
there are leaders.
We don't know yet who they are.
Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi,
clearly understood
not being a warrior himself
that he could in fact
lead and manage warriors.
So, this was the laboratory
in which his culture was grown.
You had an alienated
group of Iraqi officers
mixing with some
extremist elements
that were already there.
The two came together in
a sort of symbiotic way
that over time, because this
didn't happen overnight,
a lot of these
relationships were formed,
but didn't flourish
for a number of years
until suddenly there was
a marriage of convenience
and they fired each other up.
When he was released for
cooperative and good behavior
from Camp Bucca, he continued
to manage the persona
of a good Iraqi citizen.
He hid literally
in plain sight.
The days of Zarqawi are over...
and now Iraqis can
rejoice and take pride
in what has been accomplished
in eliminating that threat.
Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi
used that timeframe
between the death of Zarqawi
and the destruction
of Al-Qaeda in Iraq
to exploit the relationships
that he had made in the camp
and consolidate
his infrastructure and
in a position to declare the
existence of the Islamic State.
Mohammed Emwazi turned up
at Westminster,
and he was wearing
a Pittsburgh Pirates
baseball cap and tracksuit.
There was nothing really
Islamic about him.
So, he started in 2006,
a normal teenage lad
with normal aspirations.
but something happened over
the intervening three years.
We'd had reporting on him
during some of his
later university years
that he was becoming
more extreme.
It's likely the strongest
influence on Emwazi at that time
were two specific individuals.
Mohammed Sakr who had also
been to the same school,
but three years older than
Emwazi had already been to
he'd been arrested,
he had lots of stories to tell
about how he was leading
this really exciting life.
- ( guns exploding )
- ( singing in
foreign language )
As charismatic as Sakr was,
his friend,
a guy called Bilal Berjawi,
he'd also been to Kenya,
he'd been arrested,
he'd been accused of
being involved in terrorism.
He had double the charisma,
he had double the stories.
And it's become
increasingly apparent
that radicalization isn't
something for lonely people.
There's a strong social
process that happens.
What started off as him just
being a difficult teenager,
doing lots of
delinquent activity
to becoming actually someone
who wanted to redeem himself
and return back to his
original Islamic identity
and practice it more wholly.
A very insightful story from one
of his old school friends
who was sitting in a shisha bar
on the Edgeware Road
and Emwazi and two associates
were walking down
the Edgeware Road
in their white robes
and the friend says to Emwazi,
"Hi Mohammad, how are you?"
This is a new Emwazi.
He doesn't acknowledge
old friends anymore.
He walked past
with his head in the air.
This was, he'd moved on.
( train clanging )
There are similarities
between a criminal lifestyle
and recruitment for jihad.
So everyone's looking
for a sense of purpose
and meaning and
significance in life
and the jihadist
milieu presents itself
as a David versus
Goliath mentality
for those that
are disenfranchised.
We give a family to those
that never had a family before.
Prisons have becoming breeding
grounds for recruitment,
for the very reason that
it's very easy to take someone
who has an affiliation
with a gang and convince them
that they should act out
and lash out against
their society
because they already have that.
You present Islam as
an ability to transform that
into something
powerful and positive.
It gives structure
where there was none
and it can be very
beneficial at first.
They start to go to school,
they start to associate
with positive religious friends.
Their interest in reading
and studying changes,
but it's really part and parcel
of that first step
into extremism.
It is a major tool
for recruitment
'cause you're selling
a complete lifestyle
in the same way
that a gang sells
a complete
countercultural lifestyle.
You're selling
a countercultural,
gang-like lifestyle.
And so the two
correlate rather well.
( clock ticking )
Having left university in 2009,
they cast their eyes
around the world
and the region
they land on is Somalia
because Somalia is in the grip
of an Islamic revolution.
Somalia was
the only jihad in town
as far as they were concerned.
Looking at it from his eyes,
all he wants to do
is go and take part
in what he would describe
as a humanitarian mission.
He thinks that going to join
an Islamist group in Somalia
is like working
with children in crisis.
You know, conveniently
ignores the fact
that Al-Shabaab,
they've been involved
in a number of terror
atrocities already,
they've got blood
on their hands,
they are a hugely destabilizing
force in the region.
March 2009, Emwazi teamed
up with a couple of friends
and they set off to Tanzania
where they said they
were going to go on safari.
( plane engine whooshing )
I know and we know,
we were running operations
against West London
Islamists at the time
and we were fully aware
of their intentions,
which were not
to go to a safari.
When they arrived
in Dar es Salaam,
they were
greeted by the Tanzanian
Security Services.
They were locked up
for the night,
subject to beatings,
generally roughed
up you might say,
and we know all this because
of Emwazi's own accounts
of what happened to him.
( Mohammed Emwazi speaking )
They went back via Amsterdam,
when they arrived at Amsterdam,
they were met again by
security service officers
from both the Dutch
security service and MI5.
( Mohammed Emwazi speaking )
He was quizzed in Amsterdam
for 12 or so hours.
On his return to Dover
he was further questioned
by British Security Services.
We made approaches to him,
we wanted to give him the
opportunity to work for us
and to actually desist
from becoming a terrorist.
( Mohammed Emwazi speaking )
They rammed home this idea
that life could become
uncomfortable for him
unless of course he wanted
to cooperate with them.
Perhaps let us know what some
of your friends are up to.
To Emwazi this was
a red rag to a bull.
This is not something
that he's prepared to do.
It's an ultimate betrayal of
everything that he has become.
( Mohammed Emwazi speaking )
The challenge for the service
in the context of Jihadi
John is understanding
how his mental state is evolving
because there's lots
going on in his life,
lots of traumatic events that
would be traumatic to anybody
let alone somebody who's
already got a sense
of persecution by the state.
If there's any suggestion at all
that it may have
the opposite effect,
then the recruitment
ought not to take place.
There's always a risk when
you make these approaches
and the chances of
success are in any event
fairly minimal,
but you can't not do them.
You have to give
an individual an opportunity
to not go down that path.
But we've got to be careful.
There's a nature/nurture
debate within that.
Was he always likely to carry
out that kind of activity
or did he carry out that
activity just because
he was approached.
I think it's unlikely
that was the turning point.
Emwazi now had something
to tell his friends.
He'd been stopped by the cops.
He'd been insulted,
he would say,
by the security services.
He'd received
a beating in Tanzania.
You can imagine how proud
he was, he'd come of age.
He was a serious
jihadi player now.
I mean in my line of work,
I remember monitoring Al-Qaeda
and by chance happened
to track
the rumblings
of another group,
another sort of
fringe organization
that had sprouted
from old Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Baghdadi had spent much
of 2010 building a network
of veteran jihadists who had
been running the course of time
to find the next big conflict.
( bombs exploding )
News reporter:
As the Syrian struggle
the battle to remove
the Assad regime
is pulling in volunteer
fighters from across
the Arab world.
But the chaos unleashed by
the uprising has also drawn in
foreign jihadists,
Islamic extremists,
some believed to be
affiliated to Al-Qaeda.
( speaking in foreign language )
And Abu Akbar Al-Baghdadi
saw an opportunity
and so he dispatched
an operative named
Al-Julani to Syria,
and Al-Julani created
the Jabhat al-Nusra,
which was the initial extreme
Islamic presence in Syria.
News reporter:
So far, US support
for the rebels
has been limited to
non-lethal assistance,
communications equipment,
humanitarian aid,
but no weapons.
Arming a fragmented opposition
that has some extremist
elements carries a risk,
analysts say, but so does
staying on the side lines.
What we've done
in the case of Syria
is just enough
to keep the war alive,
but never enough
to allow it to be won.
We never provided the support
for the moderate elements
of this uprising, and it was
the more extreme elements
that were pursuing
the bolder action.
Jabhat al-Nusra
started to embed themselves
within the rebel forces
in Syria and this was at a time
when a lot of Rebel groups,
whether they were
Islamists or not,
they were pretty disorganized
and so any level of
organization filled a vacuum,
and Baghdadi
was ready to do that
because of the work
he'd been doing since 2010.
What Baghdadi built
in Syria swept back in to
first western Iraq
drawing strength and money
and ammunition and explosives
and vehicles and so forth.
This was a terrorist army
and they spread through
Iraq really like a cancer,
and they move through
the Sunni portions of Iraq.
They get dangerously
close to Baghdad,
News reporter:
The Iraqi government
is losing control.
This is happening
with unbelievable speed.
A violent Islamic
group has launched
something of an invasion.
News reporter:
A Sunni Islamic terror group
formed last year
after being expelled from
Al-Qaeda for being too radical.
But who are they?
They're the Islamic
State in Iraq and Syria,
I-S-I-S for short.
And so you have ultimately
tens of thousands
of disenchanted Muslims
who come to rise up
in this very twisted
interpretation of Islam
that is propagated by a leader
with extraordinary vision
and quite extraordinary
operational skills
and this is, of course,
The latest reports are
that police forces in Mosul
were taking off their uniforms,
laying down their guns
and leaving.
News reporter:
There is a video
that has been released
by this group ISIS
that shows what seems
to be a very grisly massacre
about 150 Iraqi soldiers
lined up, executed.
The ISIS guys are effectively,
using medieval warfare ethics.
Of course, human society
has moved on
in the ensuing centuries
and now we don't kill prisoners
and we don't take slaves.
( speaking in foreign language )
( people screaming )
( speaking in foreign language )
Dr. Usama Hasan:
But for ISIS they reject
modern convention.
They're trying
to stick to literal
interpretations of texts
from the 7th and 8th centuries.
So this is a battle for
the heart and soul of Islam.
In May 2009, Mohammed Emwazi
has been through
quite an ordeal.
When he finally
gets back to London,
still smarting
from the indignities
of the interrogations
and detentions,
he then discovers
that his fiance's family
have received a visit
from the security services.
( Mohammed Emwazi speaking )
So his fiance was
approached and, of course,
she was then
deterred if you like.
She then walks away from him.
For them, who are a very
conservative Somali family.
This is a problem.
Not only have they
messed with his own life,
they've messed
with his girlfriend's life.
( Mohammed Emwazi speaking )
This is a transgression
that confirms everything
that he's been told about
the British Security Services.
Bilal Berjawi, who'd
returned back to London
after being trained in
a training camp in East Africa
and, of course, he was
inspiring his little cohort.
The point about Berjawi
was that he could motivate
all of the London
boys and if he said,
"Let's go 'round rattling tins
and collecting cash
outside the mosques,"
then they'd all do it
and Emwazi obviously
got caught up in that.
The money was being transferred
back over to Somalia,
then obviously being
used to buy firearms
and to support Al-Shabaab.
Effectively that's
terrorist fundraising,
that's what he was engaged in.
While he's being stopped
when he goes out, questioned.
He's being followed,
he's having to get involved
in counter surveillance
so he's sort of jumping on
trains at the last minute.
He's leaving his
mobile phone at home.
He's meeting in parks
with associates.
I mean he's looking
very suspicious.
As a young Muslim on the
fringes of extremist activities
he was a legitimate target.
In fact, the service would
have been failing in its duty
if it didn't keep him under
some kind of observation.
What you have with
individuals like this,
you have an emerging
intelligence picture,
based on intelligence
that you're receiving
from individuals that are
associating with them,
who are working for us
and they're telling us
that he's becoming more
hard-lined, more extremist
and more of a threat.
Emwazi's family were concerned
about their oldest son.
His younger brother Omar,
who I met and who told me
that the family hatched a plan
where he would
travel to Kuwait,
stay with his grandmother
and he would escape,
not just the attention
of the security services,
but also the influence
of the gang
that he was running with
and that's what he did.
He took a job with
a computer company
where he was involved in the
technical side of the company
and he also had
a salesman role as well
and the boss thought he
was an excellent worker.
He'd met another girlfriend,
someone who he also
wanted to marry.
So he was still intent
on having a family life.
He was enjoying his new life,
he was happy.
It's always a question
about what drives a terrorist
to become a terrorist.
and it's often
a range of motivations.
It's not just a top-down
process of recruitment.
As we used to say,
the obligation
is not to convert
the entire world,
but to make the truth accessible
to those that seek it,
so these are seekers.
If you look at what motivates
and what motivated young
people to go out to Syria
many of them were going
to pursue a romantic notion
of a high-minded,
religiously inspired, faithful,
pure way of life in
a way that young people
in lots of countries will want
to do something worthwhile
with their lives.
Brutal honesty,
I didn't want to sit
in a nine-to-five job.
I wanted to be part
of something bigger.
My dad, joined the RAF
when he was around about 17.
He saw a lot of suffering,
a lot of things there.
I think that's
when he first started
to get this love
of helping people
I feel especially attracted
by the Middle East
because it is close
and still very different,
and it is also where the roots
of our civilization are.
I became a
holy warrior at one point.
At the age of 19, I took
part in jihad in Afghanistan
fighting against
Afghan communist soldiers
who were backed
by the Soviet Union.
For me,
the experience of the jihad
was actually very positive
and we were defending
oppressed people
and taking part in military
activity when you're 19,
it's really cool
to fire guns at that age.
Jim was driven by what he saw
and the more he saw of
the suffering of the people,
the more compelled he felt
to tell their stories.
So there was a dilemma
around the journalists
and the aid workers who
were traveling out there
and in many respects
they were causing us
more and more problems.
Bethany Haines:
My dad went over to Croatia
and then on to Libya
just giving out aid and then
he got the job going to Syria.
Syria was the single
biggest humanitarian crisis
at the time.
I felt like I had
something to offer.
I guess it was exciting.
I thought that I got some
addiction to adrenaline,
but while some war
reporters may be
only driven by adrenaline,
I was also driven to
tell the story of people.
And I think as it
got more dangerous,
more and more media
were pulling out of Syria
and so I think he felt
more and more compelled
to do what he felt
he knew how to do.
And of course
to a war reporter,
it's part of their day job
to go to these difficult areas,
but there was just massively
high risk for anyone
traveling into that region.
( gunfire blasting )
( singing in foreign language )
At one time,
you had Islamic State
pulling people out of cars,
abducting them
and then they were filming
all of this process.
And these particular videos
have been deliberately put
out in the open for ISIS
to communicate its processes
of rooting out spies
and people who are trying to
undermine the cause for ISIS.
Once an individual knows that
they are under the scrutiny
of the state they
then have to develop,
if you like, cover stories
for their activity.
Unfortunately, Emwazi
has problems with his teeth.
He tries Kuwaiti dentists,
but none of them can solve
his severe tooth ache.
He can't sleep,
so he speaks to his family
and they say come back.
We were receiving
intelligence that potentially
he's still aspiring to
become a hardened terrorist.
I would only say that
what we don't know is
what else he's doing in Kuwait.
All we know is that he's
coming back and forth.
So he comes back
for the second time.
Of course raising again the
suspicion of the authorities
that he was not content
with his life in Kuwait.
He turns up at Heathrow Airport
a few days later,
this time he's
detained in the airport.
According to his father,
he's prevented
from going back to Kuwait,
not by the Kuwaiti
Intelligence Services,
but by British pressure
on the Kuwaiti
Intelligence Services.
Would it be a legitimate use
of the security services
powers to invite another state
to decline a visa? Possibly.
But it's equally as plausible
that the Kuwaiti government
just didn't want him
in the country.
Unfortunately, he learns
while he's in London
that Kuwaiti Security Services
have visited his
Kuwaiti fiance's family.
They have introduced the idea
that he may be
linked to terrorism.
Again, the family
call the wedding off.
His whole life is being,
as far as he is concerned,
funneled in one direction.
Can't go to Kuwait,
finding it impossible
to exist in London,
his intentions are now
focused on extreme lifestyle,
the full jihad.
Emwazi was defiant
even in those early days
in terms of his approaching
an organization called CAGE,
who purport to represent
the interests of
Islamic causes.
He visits CAGE,
he discusses with them
his problems he's having
with the security services.
They suggest that
if he really wants
to get the security
services off his case,
he should go public.
And this is when I am
introduced to Mohammed Emwazi.
We speak to each other
on the telephone,
we switch emails.
Emwazi and I agreed
to meet at a cafe.
It became very clear early on
that this was a serious man.
This wasn't someone who
thought it was interesting,
exciting perhaps, to sit down
and chat about his experiences.
This was a defiant young man,
who was convinced that
he had been the victim
of a wrongdoing,
and it was my job to try
and help him right that wrong,
which was fine by me,
because give us a good story,
and I'll print it.
That was my approach.
But as the conversation
went on,
he started to tell
me about the fiances
and how the police had
destroyed these engagements,
and that was what
sold his story to me.
It seemed to me,
if I believed him,
a real step too far.
So, by approaching CAGE,
by speaking to a journalist,
this was his strategy for
countering our interventions.
These are the early signs of him
if you like being offensive
against the state.
he'd emailed me back
saying he'd spoken
to the families
and he wasn't confident
they would agree
to have their pictures
in the newspaper.
He had pictures, but he
couldn't pass them on to me
because that would
be a breach of trust.
So, I had sort of
half a story, really.
So, we never really got
the story off the ground,
and that was the last
contact I had with him.
( rockets roar )
James Foley:
Syrian government forces
continued to bombard
Aleppo beating back rebels
of the Free Syrian Army,
but the battle
for the country's largest city
is also taking
a deadly toll on civilians.
The regime has bombed
hospitals, homes,
even people standing
in line for bread.
Diane Foley:
I guess the biggest,
most obvious silence,
was Thanksgiving of 2012.
Jim was always very cognizant
of holidays or birthdays, or...
and certainly Thanksgiving.
To not hear from him was odd...
and so we were a bit concerned.
And it actually
was the next morning,
the morning after Thanksgiving,
when one of his colleagues
called to tell us
that he had been captured.
that confirmed our fear.
Nicolas Henin:
Raqqa was taken six weeks or so
before I arrived in the city
and I wanted to do mostly
political reporting.
We entered
the former headquarters
of the Ba'ath Party.
The following day we came
back to their headquarters
and they just attacked
us in the street.
That was a trap.
And they drove me
for about 20 minutes.
When they removed the blindfold
I was in a bathroom
and they locked the door.
( door slams )
I noticed the bars of the window
were potentially a bit weak
and in the evening, I removed
the bars jumped outside.
I was free and that was one
of the most exciting nights
of my life, even
though I was terrified,
especially the first
100 meters or so that I ran,
and I was praying that
no one would have seen me.
But after I took some distance,
I was like, Oh, that's so good!
That's so good!
I am winning!
These bastards!
What a good trick!
( man panting )
I was euphoric.
I wanted to reach Raqqa.
I noticed already the lights
of Raqqa on the horizon,
so I had the direction
and very early in the morning
I arrived in a village.
As I entered the streets
all the dogs start barking...
and I'm like, "Oh, shit,
I wanted to be discreet."
And the first people I met
were two guys wearing pajamas,
and they were jihadis.
I couldn't recognize them
because nothing differentiated
jihadis wearing pajamas
from someone else
wearing pajamas,
and they took me back to
the local police station
and they rode me back
to the very same cell.
To be taken back is
almost worse than to be taken.
I was like... ahh!
Now the real shit begins.
( bomb exploding )
In 2012, Emwazi's two mentors,
Bilal Berjawi and Mohamed Sakr,
are killed in drone strikes
by the American administration.
This must have a been
a devastating moment for him
because while they were away,
Emwazi was close
to both their families.
He was involved in looking
after Bilal Berjawi's, um, son.
He took a sort of
an uncle's role.
I think it was probably
a turning point.
And then you have a bigger
problem on your hands
because then they're
more determined to travel
and they'll find a way,
as indeed Emwazi did.
At some point
in 2012, Mohammed Emwazi
managed to slip
out of the country.
Perhaps he joined
a convoy with other friends,
we're not entirely
sure who he went with.
So what we'd hoped
to stop came to pass.
In a sense all we did was
held back the inevitable.
Whether we contributed to
his further radicalization
and his clear anger and vitriol
against the British state
by stopping him from travel
is an interesting question.
News reporter:
More than 70,000
Syrian refugees
have flooded into Turkey
in the past 24 hours,
according to UN officials,
and that number could
grow to more than 100,000.
I was working
for an organization
called Impact Initiative
so we were doing
the humanitarian
data assessment,
providing data that would
inform humanitarian
David was a,
he was a big guy.
When you first meet him,
he was someone
who inspires confidence
when you're going into places.
He was a wonderful guy.
We had very similar ideas
as to the good and the bad
of what we were doing.
I think we connected
really quickly
and felt comfortable
around each other.
We spent the Saturday,
Sunday primarily in IBP camps
moving around and also for me,
it was the first time
that I was in Syria.
The 12th of March,
I think was a Tuesday,
we'd gone in in the morning
and we went to a town,
a small town called Atarib,
and on our way back,
I was on the phone
with my boss in Geneva,
and at one stage we
passed two black cars.
We were on a dirt track
and we got to a junction
where the road sort of widened
and became a more
normal road I guess,
and that's where these cars
who had been now behind us,
sort of one of them overtook.
They blocked us out, and these
masked fighters jumped out
and surrounded the car.
I actually dropped the phone
with my boss still on the line.
I managed to say to him
that we were getting kidnapped,
that we had a problem.
It all happened very,
very quickly.
I just have like
flash recollections.
I just remember the car,
faced down on the ground,
in the boot, David was
put in just before me,
and then they couldn't
get the boot shut,
and that's where I saw a guy
on his bicycle, cycle past.
You could see
he was sort of like,
but at the same time
he just cycled continually.
It just happened in a flash.
The next thing you know,
we're speeding away,
very very fast.
On my 16th birthday,
I was actually in France
with some friends.
My dad would always
contact me on my birthday,
no matter where he was
and it got later on at night
and I thought,
something's not right
and I started to get
a sinking feeling,
so I phoned my mum quite
upset and said to her,
"Look I've got
a really bad feeling.
You need to find
out what's happened."
My head automatically
assumed the worst,
so when she said
he was kidnapped
it was actually
a part of a relief
to find out he
hadn't been killed,
but of course your
mind goes everywhere.
I thought why would
someone kidnap someone
who was only there to help.
So Emwazi finds a way out
to the new frontier,
to the new global
jihad in Syria,
and very quickly
finds a new mentor,
a Chechen warlord
called Shishani,
who was leading the ground
called K.A.M. within Syria,
and it was really
a breakaway group
from Al-Qaeda
or al-Nusra front.
Shishani, a man who'd had
war experience in Chechnya,
had developed a brutal
reputation for committing
but who saw in Emwazi someone
who would follow orders
to the letter.
Who would carry out
almost any brutal act
if directed to do so,
and Emwazi became quite
well-known and reliable,
if you like, to the leadership
of this new group.
( speaking in foreign language )
Kata'ib Al Muhajireen had
become slightly fractured,
half the group was
aligned with Al-Qaeda,
and the other half,
led by Shishani,
were more interested
in making links
with the emerging
Islamic State as is now.
And Shishani decided
he would take his group
to join the Islamic State,
and with him...
Mohammed Emwazi followed.
Once within Islamic State,
Emwazi and Shishani are led
by the Emir of Aleppo,
Amr al-Absi.
Al-Absi's a seasoned terrorist
and a close confident
of the ISIS leader,
Al Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
Under the guidance of Al-Absi,
Emwazi and Shishani,
along with some UK recruits.
Alexander Kotey, Aine Davis,
and El Shafee El-sheik,
started a mass
hostage-taking campaign
all across Northern Syria.
With that, they captured
hundreds of Syrian prisoners,
but they also captured
a very important group
of western hostages.
The Islamic State emirs felt
that because of his loyalty
and because of his willingness
to carry out acts of
brutality without question,
Emwazi would be
perfect for this,
and perhaps they were right.
So, Emwazi,
this career jihadist,
is moved through the ranks.
He graduates effectively,
suddenly with the opportunity
to actually fulfill his dreams
as a proper global jihadi.
The faces of most of our
guards, we haven't seen them.
The funny thing is
that we nicknamed them.
It's a kind of
coping mechanism.
There is something you don't
control, you bad guard.
It is the name that
I give to you,
and this you will
never control it.
The most common name that
were known through the media
were, of course, The Beatles.
The guys that
we nicknamed The Beatles
were British born,
native British accents.
And they were the first people
that conversed
with us in the car.
When they'd taken
our passports, I think,
the very first thing
was when they said,
"David, welcome to Syria,
you mutt,"
or something like that,
'cause I think they'd
looked through his passport
and then they asked David
if I spoke any English.
So, they actually kidnapped you?
And so, they reappeared
and reappeared throughout,
that first month.
So, the Beatles were obviously
British hostage takers.
We understood that they
probably were friends
even before arriving to Syria
because they were very close.
They were not always together,
but most of the time
at least two of them
would come together.
John was the boss.
He was the one giving
orders to the others.
He was the one in charge of
collecting the proofs of lives.
George was the punisher.
He was the most
violent in the group.
I remember his, uh...
fat hands,
and the third one was Ringo.
Ringo was the preacher.
The less violent
of these three.
The one would from time
to time explain to us
why they were doing that.
Emwazi was in control
of what happened.
I mean, he initiated
and allowed a lot
of our punishment,
and he was very much involved.
He also sort of set
the tone for the guards.
They took a lot
of their inspiration
from what they had heard
about places like Abu Ghraib,
and what the coalition forces
in other countries had done.
Guantanamo was referenced
all the time
by Emwazi, in particular.
But the orange materials,
at various stages we were
wearing jumpsuits, all of us.
And so things like
stress positions,
and not allowing us to sleep,
just stand up all night.
Things like that.
Some of us received much
more violence than others,
and that was for reasons
that I couldn't understand.
We knew there were
another two captives
in the same location.
You could hear their screams,
and they could hear ours.
And eventually we met them.
It was James Foley
and John Cantlie.
And they put us into
a cell to do a royal rumble.
Basically, get us to
fight against each other.
The cell that
John and James were in,
because the ceiling was so
high at the top it had a latch.
So, they brought us in and
then went up to the top,
and then were like giving
us instructions about,
and they were
watching from above,
and so they had
Dave and me in one corner
and John and James in the other
and they wanted us to fight,
and, like...
we obviously weren't
gonna fight each other,
but you kinda
couldn't not fight.
I mean there was
potential for punishment.
I remember we sort of went
through the motions initially,
realized we couldn't
'cause they were saying
if you don't start,
you know, and you have to,
we were like skeletons by then.
I think every one of us
fainted at some stage or another
just from exhaustion.
So, we weren't exactly
hurting each other.
But, they found it
highly entertaining.
( speaking in foreign language )
Baghdadi has this
extraordinary vision.
He clearly has very impressive
organizational skills,
however twisted the ideology,
however twisted
the interpretation of Islam,
however extreme the actions,
but he does something
truly extraordinary.
In 2014 we saw the
Declaration of the Caliphate.
It was directed to
idealistic people,
who wanted to live
in the perfect state,
and who had learnt
since their childhood
about this wonderful
idea of the caliphate,
which a lot of Muslims
very much cherish,
including Muslims
who would not have
the slightest sympathy
with the likes of ISIS.
It was a bit of a chicken
or an egg situation for ISIS.
It was establish the caliphate
and then figure out a way
of making it work later on.
Announce it to the world
and you would get attention
and people would flock.
( speaking in foreign language )
I think it's like grooming,
and even worse than that,
because they are promising them,
and to the group,
this is not us,
we are just passing
the message of god.
This is an order from god.
Here is the Koranic verse
telling you that you should go,
you should migrate
to the caliphate.
You should leave the land
of the Kuffr, which is Britain,
and go to the caliphate.
Propaganda was very well
targeted to individual groups.
They'd be different
videos for Australians,
for people in the Philippines,
for people who had
specific interests.
Videos for young girls,
videos for young boys.
Some would be very
violent and horrifying,
some would have nothing,
but soft focus pictures
of the golden corn being reaped
and the beautiful fish being
brought in on the fishing boat.
The videos are there
to make them actually
feel some positive emotion.
So for example,
getting them to feel
that there's
a sense of solidarity
amongst the ranks of ISIS,
and that brotherly comradeship.
And all of this gives
the audience an impression
that this is
the non-trivial world.
That in living with ISIS,
you will actually start
to feel a sense of purpose.
It is not just
about killing people,
but there's a wider cause
that you're sacrificing
your life for.
That, in a way, was one of
ISIS' unique selling points.
They had as they would
put it a country to sell,
and they were able to
present it as a country
where you might want to live.
You would look at
some of it and think,
well, I'd like to go
and live there.
If you believed it, you would
want to go and live there.
And so many people,
particularly young people,
went out there on
the basis of that dream
that the propagandists
had put together.
There was a lot of
talk around the fact
that there was
an Islamic State now,
that we were
prisoners of a state,
therefore, there were rules.
I spent a couple of weeks
in a cell on my own,
and then at the end
of the year,
we are 19 men in the same cell.
Being in a group is hard too.
I mean you're whatever number
of grown men in a tiny room,
in terms of how you sleep,
right next to each other.
For a couple of months,
the Beatles were not
violent with us.
It was more
like an enterprise,
so you don't damage
the merchandise.
Some of the proofs
of lives were obtained
in a neighboring room.
Jihadi John would then be
the one directing the filming.
So he would give us
the instructions.
"Okay, you arrive this side,
you say that,
and then you stand up
and leave the frame."
And... he would stand
next to the camera,
and there would be another
Beatle behind the camera...
just pressing the button.
News reporter:
There have also been
fresh clashes
in the rebel enclave of
Aleppo, Syria's second city,
and once its commercial heart.
( tanks firing )
As ISIS begin to
lose control of Aleppo,
Al-Absi, Emwazi,
and his fellow Beatles flee
to the safety of the state's
de facto capital, Raqqa.
Before fleeing,
they kill around 300
of the Syrian prisoners,
but they keep hold of
their precious cargo
of Western hostages.
Once they're in Raqqa,
Baghdadi appoints Al-Absi
to oversee the state's
media department.
This position gives
Al-Absi and his cell,
which includes Emwazi,
ample opportunity to reek havoc
using the hostages that remain.
( speaking in foreign language )
I appeal to the people
who have Jim
to give us some information
in terms of his welfare,
his health.
I tried very hard
to remind our government
that Jim was alive, but we
really didn't receive much help.
We received an email
from his captors,
they asked for
proof-of-life questions,
so they could assure
us they had Jim,
and we were very excited
to hear from them.
I mean of course there
was the proofs of life
where like the one
thing that sort of said
there's obviously
something going on.
I mean, we all were aware of
various government positions
on this issue.
Well, we don't negotiate
with terrorists or pay ransoms
or pursue those
kinds of activities
because it just
begets more terrorism,
it encourages more actions.
But of course, it's a very
difficult policy to explain
to the loved ones of someone
who has been kidnapped
and of course
the overall policy objective,
I think even they
can understand why,
but of course they want
an exception in their case.
We were back and forth on
email for about a month
and then they cut off all
communication after that.
So it was kind of a tease,
if you will.
Dave and I always believed that
because we were taken together,
there was a good chance
that we would be
negotiated for together.
I genuinely believed
that there was an option
and then the moment
that you realized...
that I realized,
through that sort of
final proof-of-life process...
that this was only for me.
It was probably one
of the most bittersweet...
um... emotions
I think I've ever had.
When they eventually came
to the room and said,
"Okay, the four French here,
come and we were blindfold,
and we take you out."
It was like, I just had time
to say well goodbye everybody.
We had no time for
big hugs or whatever.
For some reason the day
that I was picked up,
the Beatles were
super aggressive.
They pulled me into
the center, then they tried to,
they gave me a beating,
but then they took it out
on everyone around as well.
And just before they put
the blanket over my head,
they made me go back to
the door, and sort of say...
"and say goodbye
to your friends,"
or something like that.
Normally when you
are taken hostage,
once you are released
you are free.
But in our case,
when were released,
we left 15 pals behind us.
You know these guys aren't
just people or friends,
they're brothers.
And I think I spent more
time sleeping next to David
than any girl at
that point in my life.
( helicopter blades whirling )
( applauding )
We were very hopeful
when the Spanish hostages
were released in February.
Shortly thereafter,
the French were released,
and so we were
incredibly hopeful.
They told us that Jim
was alive and well,
and strong,
and were very encouraging.
And I actually returned
to France in July of 2014,
hoping to get some
help from France.
It was while I was in Paris
that we received
the threatening email.
Threatening to kill Jim.
I was hopeful they
were back in touch,
but again I was very naive.
I don't know if they
ever desired to negotiate.
It's hard to know...
but certainly
not at that hour...
they weren't.
I think they had come to realize
that Jim was worth
more as propaganda.
I call on my friends,
family and loved ones
to rise up against my real
killers, the U.S. government.
I was totally unaware of it
until an AP reporter
called me sobbing...
and I couldn't even understand
what she was crying about,
and she told me
to look on Twitter.
So that's when I saw the image
I knew it was Jim...
that's how I found out.
I didn't know if
it was authentic,
and so I reached out
to our FBI agent,
but really didn't hear
back from anybody.
So, I didn't know if it was true
until the president announced
it that evening on TV.
So it was... you know...
it was, um...
it was awful.
It was really very difficult.
The last time I
saw James and David
and a lot of the others was
when the videos came out.
And then the message
to America, it was, it said...
I don't like to use their words.
I like to, uh, be, uh...
precise and factual.
That was a...
filmed murder.
That's it.
Of an innocent journalist.
Of a hostage.
But, um...
I would say...
we were told...
and then once the
first one came out,
sort of...
there was the threat
of the second, the next.
So then after that
you know, it's just...
will it, won't it,
and then the second...
and, yeah, it was just...
David was a very complex
and interesting character.
Very smart.
Very good at
understanding people.
Very supportive, also.
Generally, we were all
very close as a group,
but of course everyone
has maybe one individual
that they would turn to...
and for me that was Dave.
Um... you know he, he...
I hope I was of...
of help to him.
But, I know, I think I was...
able to sort of
give what I could, and I
think everyone did the same.
( sirens whirling )
I had been at my boyfriend's
house that night,
and he lives
in the middle of nowhere,
next thing I know there's
a knock at the door
and all I can remember is
seeing the blue flashing lights
reflected in the window.
I still didn't click on.
I thought I had done
something wrong.
I was terrified, thinking
what am I going to tell my mum
when I'm in the back
of a police car.
And then I heard her voice,
and my boyfriend said,
"Is it her dad?"
My mum said yeah.
And I remember
deliberately taking ages
to come out of the room
'cause I knew what
was going to come,
and I just didn't
want to hear it,
and my mum had said to me
a video had been released.
"It's of your dad."
And that was
the moment that I found out
that my dad certainly
wouldn't be coming home.
My name is
David Cawthorne Haines.
It took me months
to be able to cry.
I didn't feel any
kind of sadness.
It was anger...
and then there was also hope.
Hope that the others
would get out,
such as Alan Henning,
Peter Kassig.
We all prayed and hoped
that they would get out.
So there was public pressure
to name this individual,
but we knew that if
we were to name Emwazi,
there was a high risk that
he would conduct more murders
and more beheadings of hostages.
In James Foley's video,
obviously Steven Sotloff
was featured at the end.
The life of this
American citizen, Obama,
depends on your next decision.
And then the next video,
it's my dad,
and the one after it was Alan.
If you, Cameron, persist
in fighting the Islamic State,
then you,
like your master Obama,
will have the blood
of your people on your hands.
At the time that Jihadi John
had killed his third hostage,
all you're able to see then,
is that this is the third,
and how many more of these
are there going to be?
What terrorists want above all
is a reaction,
and ISIS, and in particular
Jihadi John and his mates,
spent the summer
of 2014 seeking a reaction.
You had this sequence of
increasingly grisly videos.
They were very,
very skillful propaganda.
They recreated the medieval
barbarity of the 7th century
with these great
bladed weapons,
the beheadings, it was all
on the sands of the desert
and the world's media
I am afraid fell for it.
And of course, with
the level of interest
and the level of coverage,
the level of fear
went up as well.
Images were released
showing the beheading
of American journalist
James Foley.
Today the entire
world is appalled.
It is an act of murder.
The video is too
graphic for us to show.
And it also speaks
to how barbaric
and gruesome this can all be.
All eyes are on his eyes.
Again speaking in English
with a British accent.
I recognized John, for sure.
The John I met there,
( mumbles )
I recognized his voice.
I recognize his style.
People across this country
would have been
sickened by the fact
that it could have
been a British citizen,
a British citizen
who could have carried out
this unspeakable act.
Somebody must have decided
that allowing Emwazi
who was relatively junior,
to be filmed executing hostages
was going to be a good
and powerful idea.
And if you look at
Emwazi as an adversary,
he certainly wasn't a glorious
battlefield commander,
he wasn't that.
He wasn't high in the ISIS
hierarchy such as it was,
but he was a powerful
and credible adversary
He was from us.
He was of us.
And so, he knew us
The blood of David Haines
is on your hands Cameron.
Alan Henning
will also be slaughtered,
but his blood is on the hand
of the British parliament.
With each video
there was a sense
of this is getting
slightly out of control.
How is it that we're losing
the power dynamic here?
This is Emwazi telling
the world about not just
what the Islamic State
think of America and Britain,
this is Mohammed Emwazi
telling the world
what he thinks
about Britain and America.
This is his very
own personal message,
and the venomous tone
and the snarling attacks
on Obama and Cameron, I think,
are very much Mohammed Emwazi.
( Mohammed Emwazi speaking )
I'm back, Obama,
and I'm back because of
your arrogant foreign policy
towards the Islamic State.
And politicians will
always want to try and present
the situation
as one of being in control,
but we clearly
weren't in control.
I think those awful images
cut right through
to the American public
in the relative sanctuary
we felt emotionally before 9/11,
and then we had 9/11
and it was like,
oh, this was such a shock,
and then the war in Afghanistan,
and then Iraq.
So you have a war-weary
American public,
and then this horrific scene
of an American man murdered
for the world to see,
so I think it really
had America
torn about what to go do.
If you threaten America,
you will find no safe haven.
The next ISIS video comes out,
the next ISIS
beheading comes out.
Jihadi John's on TV again.
"Bakr Al Baghdadi said this."
You know all these...
So there was just this
wave of information.
It seemed like we were losing.
Now I tell you we never
were losing in my mind,
but it sure did seem
that way at a few points.
Civil society will be
asking its government,
well why is this happening
and why can't you stop it,
and what does it mean
for our relationships
with our fellow citizens
of different faiths.
So whatever the substance
of these issues,
this is just one man
doing brutal things
in another part of the world.
The effect on politics
and society is profound.
The prime minister
made it very clear
that we had a responsibility
to these British citizens.
He took it as a high priority
and instructed us to take
it as a high priority.
For us at GCHQ,
this was a largely desk
screen-based campaign.
In Afghanistan we
could climb up towers
and do all the things we
need to do on the ground.
None of that was
possible in Raqqa.
If you looked at
a picture of Raqqa,
you would see these
little V-Sat terminals,
so these little satellite
dishes all over the roofs.
And they were connecting direct
to the internet in practice,
and that's the way that
people were communicating.
They were not using telephone
company, GSM networks,
because they didn't trust them.
Mohammed Emwazi, look,
he'd been reading the newspaper
and watching TV just
like the rest of us.
He knows that we're
coming after him.
He went to great lengths
to prevent being captured.
He was an interesting case
because he had studied
computer science
and he had been
in the IT business.
He had clearly
taught himself a lot.
He understood, therefore,
the best way
to avoid surveillance
and was good at it.
He communicated very rarely,
and when he did,
mostly around the hostages,
he used a whole series of
commercially available products
to obscure his identity,
including very strong
and including
virtual private networks.
Any one of those products
would be very, very difficult
for an agency to tackle.
What he was doing was layering
them on top of each other.
Any agency's ambition,
if they can find the machine
that a terrorist is using,
is to put something on to it
which will stay there
and communicate back
what that person is doing.
What Emwazi was able
to do was to ensure
that every time he
switched off his machine
it was wiped of
anything and everything,
and that made it
extremely difficult
and very, very time consuming
to do anything really
with his communications.
It's never straightforward
and it can take a very,
very long time
and in this case, of course,
it did take a long time.
Obama, you have started your
aerial bombardment in Sham,
which keeps on
striking our people.
So it's only right we continue
to strike the necks
of your people.
Every single time he
would do something,
we would see a significant
spike in social media activity
surrounding ISIS.
We would see a significant spike
in recruiting success for ISIS.
Know that you can't
fight any of those things
with bombs and bullets.
Those types of things had to
be fought with information.
And this was my responsibility,
to try to counter
his atrocities.
You have here an ordinary
young British man
who left London
and went into Syria.
Who is now appearing on the TV,
slaughtering people's life.
Obviously, this had a huge
impact on many young Muslims,
so that, "Wow,
I am sitting here in London,"
or "I'm sitting
here in Birmingham,
I am sitting here
in Manchester,"
and that he is out
there doing the fight.
Not only he is doing it,
but doing it in a way
that is very much a Hollywood
way of dramatizing things.
Jesse Morton:
That attracted the
concern of non-Muslims
that are also looking for
a reason to denounce Islam.
If anybody wants to point
to Islam as a religion
that breeds barbarity,
it's Jihadi John.
It's a complete perfect example,
as I was back in the day.
But this was an exorbitant
level of violence.
This was a level of violence
unseen before.
Mamadou Bocum:
What Jihadi John did,
in my opinion,
for the first time
helped ordinary Muslims
to say, "Wow there is
something that is not right."
I think these things
always escalate,
so they started very
brutal anyway, frankly,
the first execution video,
although it stopped short of
showing the actual beheading,
was horrific in its own way.
But as time went on,
for whatever reason,
they must have decided to
take that self-censorship away
and just push it all out.
Clearly it did escalate up,
and the killing of
the Jordanian pilot by fire
was particularly gruesome.
The turning point really
was when they burned the pilot.
The prophet Mohammed,
peace be upon him,
famously taught that
only the lord of fire
can punish with fire.
The burning of
anything in Islam
that is a living being
was completely forbidden,
and most Muslims would
know that basic principal.
It was shot in a style
that was pioneered by Emwazi,
and it's actually
believed he was there
while it was being filmed.
And so this was a complete
eye opening moment
where if anybody ever
had an ounce of sympathy
that was Muslim for this group,
it was impossible
to still continue
to believe that this
group represented Islam.
( speaking in foreign language )
...a criminal gang
that has no relation
to our noble religion.
The video of the pilot
the hubris of the group,
and it ultimately
undermined the effectiveness
of the ISIS propaganda machine.
We will redouble the vigilance,
and determination on
the part of a global coalition
to make sure
that they are degraded
and ultimately defeated.
By being able to engage in
something so unthinkable
you attracted worldwide media,
you were in the media
stream every day,
you were the complete
of the entire
international community,
you also made it much
easier for people
to accept the fact that the
state you claim to be defending
should be dismantled and
should be bombed from above
and should incorporate
a coalition against you.
So as a former propagandist,
I would say it was
completely counterproductive.
What did Mohammed Emwazi mean
to those who were
fighting the fight
against the Islamic State.
This hunt for
Jihadi John was personal
and his nationality
mattered not one wit.
For us, this was as personal
as if he'd been
an American citizen.
What we needed to do was find,
fix and finish Emwazi.
A very, very important target,
and ultimately, of course,
as they say
in the manhunt business,
ended up on the X.
Very broadly,
there are three phases.
The first is just gathering
intelligence about this person,
based on that,
there is then a phase
in which you hope to build
up a pattern of life.
You need a certain regularity
to understand their behavior,
where they are going to
be on a particular day.
You also need to make decisions
about the deployment
of aerial assets
'cause so much of this is
about reconnaissance from above.
We start to realize,
we think we know
exactly where he is.
So have a drone take
a look at that spot.
( drones humming )
We'd been very clear that...
we'd intended to minimize
civilian casualties
as we prosecuted this
fight against ISIS.
Jihadi John was able to
read between the lines
and he understood that
if he surrounded himself
with civilians,
with non-combatants,
that we would be very reticent
to try to strike at him.
And this boy knew if he
had any hope for survival
he had to blend in
to the citizens of Raqqa.
He had to look from
a distance just like them.
It's no longer looking
for a needle in a haystack,
this is like looking for
a needle in a stack of needles.
You have to remember
that these terrorists
are leading lives alongside
their terrorist operations.
Where we could see
what they were doing,
they were doing very
much what young men
of their generation
would do so,
so be looking at football
and porn and films,
but in amongst that
was attack planning
and violent extremist
material and, of course,
fueling their own impact,
seeing their own kind of
celebrity being created,
that must have
been intoxicating.
So the net slowly, slowly,
slowly begins to tighten.
Finally, yesterday he was here
and now we have good reason
to believe that tomorrow
he's gonna be there,
and that's the tipping point.
Once we start talking about
where do we think he's gonna be
that in my mind
is when I know, okay,
we're locked in on him now.
I think where you
have any target,
who is very good at
communication security
they are almost always
made vulnerable by others
that they communicate with,
so those around them.
Throughout his life,
Mohammed Emwazi
had wanted a family,
he pursued two engagements,
one woman in London,
one in Kuwait,
it was the one desire,
which he continued
to pursue in Syria.
It turned out to be
his greatest weakness.
You know his family
was a little bit
of a vulnerability right?
He had his, I think,
ISIS issued wife that he got
when he was in Syria.
And he knew
that he was a target,
and he'd taken
appropriate action,
but the one thing
he couldn't do,
the one thing he
wasn't prepared to do,
was to not spend
time with his family.
Once he had established
a family in Raqqa,
they knew where to find him.
They didn't need
to track him 24/7.
They just had
to watch the family,
and similarly,
wait for him to turn up.
He was very careful
about his actions,
but you know what,
they all slip up eventually.
Every one of these guys,
to a one,
including the most famous
one Osama Bin Laden,
they all make a mistake
and when they do,
we kill them.
( clock ticking )
( plane engines roaring )
So eventually,
we acquire our target.
We're fairly certain
that it's Jihadi John,
and we see him,
along with some colleagues.
enter into a vehicle.
So the location is Raqqa.
We believed at the time
that he was heading
to the city center,
and this goes on for some time.
He's driving around for,
I don't know,
it might have been 45,
it was a while.
Inside of that ops center,
the hunt for Jihadi
John was fairly routine.
For me personally,
I was more invested.
You know, he was my foe.
I had been trading blows with
him for months at this point.
So you know,
as we're following him around
and what we're really looking
for is an opportunity
to strike him.
You might be able
to see an area,
but perhaps the missile
can't negotiate
around the various buildings
or population density.
So, we're trying to
find the opportune time
to take the shot.
Because remember,
if you shoot and miss
well guess what, now he knows.
Now he knows that
we're shooting at him.
And sure enough,
eventually he moves his vehicle
into a relatively open area.
In fact, ISIS had used
previously for executions,
sort of a little
poetic justice I guess.
His vehicle stops and we see
a figure exit the vehicle.
We don't know what he's doing,
but we did know that
this is not a bad
little location here.
He steps out of the vehicle,
and now we have an opportunity
to really try to triple check
that this is Jihadi John.
Because of the conditions,
it was night,
we're using infrared,
you can't see his face.
But we could sort
of see how he moved,
the cut of his jib,
so to speak.
You know,
the angle of his beard.
You know,
these things we could see.
Eventually we were convinced
that this is Jihadi John.
And so,
the floor commander
at the time orders,
take the shot.
He's left the vehicle.
Man 2: Roger.
Let's see what he does.
Man: Wait...
( distorted radio chatter )
- Man: Ready to engage.
- Man 2: Standby.
- Man: Engage.
- Man 2: Roger.
Man: Fire, hit it.
And then that
missile's in flight
and the missile can fly
anywhere from I don't know
five to 15 seconds
and that really
is kind the most tense moment
because now that missile's gone
you can't take it back.
And so you have these moments,
it's all done
and you don't know
what's gonna happen next.
( bomb exploding )
You might ask you know,
was there high fiving
and celebration after this
and counterintuitively
the answer is no.
This is the serious business
of eradicating
an existential threat
by taking a human life.
I don't rejoice
in anyone's death,
but it was certainly
a good thing
that he was no longer able
to do the really brutal
and disgusting things
that we'd seen on video.
And yes, you could argue
that Emwazi's departure
lethally and instantaneously
was perhaps unsatisfying.
It wasn't
a 10-minute execution.
He didn't have to feel
the cut of the steel.
I had a mixed feeling.
Of course I would have
preferred to see him in court...
facing his charges...
and being blamed for
and answering for
the crimes he committed.
It was mixed feeling,
but the main feeling though
was the satisfaction,
the relief at least,
this person will not
harm anyone anymore.
But... yeah in that instant,
I was well aware
that there were plenty
of other people who would
step into his shoes,
it would have been, um...
strange to see this
as a massive breakthrough.
It was...
a part of
one particular story,
but the ISIL threat went on.
We're going to have
to live with a level
of extreme Islamist violence
for some time to come,
and it will continue
to inspire people
in Western countries.
What you have are
horrendous terrorist acts
all attributed to ISIS.
Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi
had not a clue
that any of those things
were going to happen,
but he didn't have to,
what they got was inspiration
and that's all they needed.
News reporter:
U.S.-led airstrikes
are hitting the heart
of ISIS-controlled
territory in Syria.
A coalition of nations
has come together,
and Britain
has to do its share.
News reporter:
Day four of withering
air strikes on ISIS targets.
News reporter 2:
Proclamations of victory
over the group
in both Iraq and Syria.
News Reporter 3:
A secret deal
reportedly allowed
some of the most
notorious ISIS fighters
to escape from
a besieged Syrian city.
They made an agreement
so that they didn't
literally have to
destroy Raqqa to save it.
I'm sure that was
the least bad of the options.
Now what you're seeing
already is the remnants
of these forces turning
into insurgent groups.
These are elusive enemies now,
they are no longer wearing
uniforms or flying black flags,
they are hiding
among the population.
So this is going to be
a very different threat.
I'm very confident
that ultimately
Baghdadi will find himself
on the X as well.
News reporter:
Once some of the world's
most wanted,
but now nobody wants them.
The last two of the British
ISIS cell dubbed The Beatles
jailed in Syria.
How they'll face justice
is now a matter of hot debate.
Accused of waterboarding,
accessory to beheadings
of Western hostages.
The Beatles, they are obsessed
with their own self-image.
They have gone from
capturing western journalists
to now trying to capture
western journalists' attention,
turning their stories around
as if they were victims,
and it's caused quite
an interesting reaction
to what do we do
with people like that.
I would expect to
attend that trial
and what is of prime
importance to me
is that this trial is fair.
We should not give
them any chance
to portray themselves
as victims.
We are the victim.
They are the perpetrators,
they are the terrorists.
So much effort was
spent on the fanaticism
that had led Jihadi John
to go kill innocent people.
If you look at the amazing
lives of his victims,
these lives are great examples
of the power of networks
and people joining causes
higher than themselves
and that use of networking
and the higher cause,
I think, often is
drowned out by the grisly
and the dark and
the sensational.
I never, ever told my dad
how proud I was of him
and it's only now
when he's not here
that I realize how
proud I actually was.
When David was always
talking to his daughters.
He'd have his time...
when he just wanted
to speak to his daughters.
Federico and I,
we were kind of forced
together through this.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we speak...
um... often.
She's remarkably
like her father...
in temperament and many ways.
I definitely see
a lot of David in her.
When people tell me
I'm a lot like my dad,
I used to always think,
I don't believe it,
I don't believe it.
So when he says,
"Oh, you're so much
like your dad,"
it really does ring true,
and you think,
Well, I must be doing
something right.
There was a sense
in which Emwazi
had fulfilled his ambitions,
but there was also some
self-analysis by us
as to whether we'd actually
had the right strategy
for this individual.
On the one hand,
we had absolutely
understood the threat he posed,
but ultimately,
we failed because he became
what he wanted to be,
potentially one of the worst
terrorists of all time.
To think that
the level of-- of hatred
that must have been generated
over that short number of years
was such that it would
have inspired him
to behave in a way that he did,
I find that incredible,
that's not the same
person that-- that I knew.
He was a guy who had it all.
British passport,
safety and security,
all the benefits
of British society.
He had a future, and he gave
it up for the Islamic State.
it's a battle of ideas,
and I am confident that good
ideas with the right support
will demonstrate that
bad ideas are nihilistic,
they destroy
themselves and others.
Somebody put it very strikingly.
They said the terrorist is
like the fly in the china shop.
Now he can't destroy
the china shop on his own.
The fly isn't nearly
strong enough,
but if he gets inside
the ear of a bull
then the bull if it panics
will destroy the china shop.
We're the bull,
they are the fly,
that's why it's
important not to panic.
We need to have the courage
to have a higher standard.
We must not debase ourselves
to the level of hatred
that they have.
And as part of Jim's legacy,
we want to inspire
young people to care
and do good things
in the world.
We need that goodness.