Jihadi John’s’ e-mails revealed

Posted at 4:52 PM, Mar 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-01 16:50:33-05

(CNN) — Following the identification of the ISIS killer “Jihadi John” as Kuwaiti-born London resident Mohammed Emwazi, advocacy group CAGE has released the emails he exchanged with the organization before he became one of the world’s most wanted terrorists.

The emails “document his persistence in accessing due process through legal, political, diplomatic and other channels over the entire period until our last contact with him in January 2012,” CAGE said on its website. CAGE describes itself as “an independent advocacy organisation working to empower communities impacted by the War on Terror.”

“The release includes mentions of his (Independent Police Complaints Commission) complaint, his efforts to discover why he was unable to travel back to Kuwait to start a new life amongst other details.”

Writing to the advocacy group’s research director, Asim Qureshi, Emwazi began with his altercations at a UK airport, making impassioned allegations about his treatment by UK security officials and intelligence. CNN was unable to obtain a statement from the MI5, the British intelligence agency.

“Towards the end of this long interview (with the police), I told them that I want to be left alone, as I have an ambition of moving from the UK and settling in Kuwait. That is why I found a job and a spouse!! But they laughed,” Emwazi wrote in the first email on June 3, 2010.

“One of them got aggressive with me, he pushed me to the wall. … I was just baffled I did not know why he had done that after this long 6hour interview, fingerprinting and searching. When I asked for their names they said ‘We don’t give out our names.'”

But Rashad Ali, director at the counterextremism consultancy CENTRI and a fellow of the Institute of Strategic Dialogue, told CNN, “You can’t start the story at how he’s been treated by UK officials. You certainly can’t start the story from the email trail.

“You have to go back to why the intelligence services got in contact with him. Well, because he was part of a group of a people who were going to join Al-Shabaab — a very extremist organization and jihadist group that got involved in horrific terrorist attacks in Somalia.”

Emwazi pleaded for CAGE’s help.

“Brothers and sisters from cageprisoners, please help me as I don’t want to stay in the UK because I have found a Job in Kuwait, found a spouse in Kuwait and thus found a new start for my life in Kuwait. Kuwait is where I’m from, I was born their. I just want to go their and start my new life again!!”

“Let us see if we can help the brother inshallah (God willing),” Qureshi said in a reply on June 4, 2010.

Emwazi wrote that he had also made a formal complaint at the Independent Police Complaints Commission, before going into detail about how he was apparently “assaulted by the police officer” as he attempted to leave the UK for Kuwait.

“The IPCC says there’s no camera in the room where this took place, so we can’t really do much about it except put a black mark against the officer,” said CAGE spokesman Amandla Thomas-Johnson. “These things happen in the shadows and the dark. So it is very difficult to independently verify once it’s taken place. There isn’t much of an opportunity to gain redress and accountability.”

CNN has yet to receive a statement from the IPCC.

Emwazi wrote that the way he was treated reminded him “of criminals that you see on TV who have committed a serious crime, only I was a person never charged or arrested for anything. I was a person looking to start a new life in my country Kuwait!”

“If someone is going to carry out some violent attack in any kind of way, then the law is there to be in force and apprehend them,” Thomas-Johnson said. “In the UK, he wasn’t arrested once, prosecuted or cautioned whatsoever.”

However, The Guardian has reported that Emwazi was part of a terror cell that had links to the failed London bomb attacks in 2005, but he managed to leave Britain in 2013 with false papers, evading scrutiny.

Ali argued that abuse at the hands of officials is not an excuse for terrorism. “People do not turn around, when harassed and have grievances, and become terrorists.

“The fact that they’ve gone to CAGE is also indicative of the same thing. There are many organizations like Liberty and Amnesty, who really do speak about human rights and rule of law. CAGE has been affiliated with the Yemen al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. It’s unsurprising that someone like Emwazi would reach out to them.”

Thomas-Johnson said the criticism leveled at CAGE “is totally unfair. CAGE was the organization that led an effort to release Alan Henning, the British aid worker who was supposedly killed by ‘Jihadi John.’

“We actually led in front of the government, the government came to us for help. We don’t agree with the killing of innocents, whether that be by ISIS, or the Americans. We don’t agree with the torture that some people have endured in the Middle East and in other places including Guantanamo Bay.”

The emails have led to mixed views on Twitter.

Some were sympathetic. “Treatment of Muslims in this country is absolutely sick, emails from Emwazi about treatment at airports is completely corrupt,” one man tweeted.

Others were simply unmoved. “Tragic that we did not keep you in prison.many would be alive today,” one person tweeted to Emwazi.

Before leaving Britain to join ISIS in Syria, Emwazi also exchanged emails with the Daily Mail’s security editor, Robert Verkaik, in 2010 and 2011. He recalled an incident where he was offering his laptop for sale on the Gumtree classified website, but only stated his surname.

When he met a potential buyer at a London underground station, he says the person he met shook his hand and said “nice doing business with you Mohammed.”


He also hinted at suicidal thoughts. “Sometimes i feel like im a dead man walking, not fearing they may kill me.

“Rather, fearing that one day, I’ll take as many pills as I can so that I can sleep for ever!! I just want to get away from these people!!!”

“Like many young Muslim men at the time, he appeared to have a grievance,” Verkaik wrote in the Daily Mail.

“But this man was different — in him was a warped sense of injustice that could never justify the barbaric acts of murder that he has gone on to carry out in Syria.”

Ali said he would only describe Emwazi as a victim of radicalization. “The only side I would say he’s a victim of is the same way I would say anybody is a victim of: Islamist ideology and its extremist spectrum. These individuals have embraced a belief system that has resulted in their horrific acts of violence and terrorism.”