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Jihadi John—a brand not a man

The myth of Islamic State's executioner is a reminder that it is important to extinguish the root causes of extremism

By Maajid Nawaz  
Many UK jihadists, like Jihadi John, were involved in London's gang culture

Many UK jihadists, like Jihadi John, were involved in London's gang culture

Jihadi-John

There may be some initial relief in knowing the brutal Islamic State killer we have seen in the media, responsible for the gruesome beheadings of a number of Westerners, has been identified as Mohammed Emwazi, a Londoner of Kuwaiti origin. But perhaps the biggest and more sobering surprise in the identification of the notorious IS frontman, is that he isn’t a person at all.

So who and what is he?

Emwazi may be the man who followed the jihadist ideology that led him to join IS, but Jihadi John…

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