Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, rapper and beheader? The self-described “hip hop jihadist,” may have been the hooded man taking the knife to the neck of slain journalist James Foley, whose beheading by Islamic State militants was posted this week in a YouTube upload.
Earlier this week, we brought you this story:
In the video posted Tuesday, Foley is seen kneeling and reading a scripted message that says his “real killer” is America, and saying he wishes he “wasn’t American.”
“I call on my friends, family and loved ones to rise up against my real killers, the U.S. government,” said Foley in part, reading the letter. “For what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency and criminality. My message to my beloved parents: Save me some dignity, and don’t accept some minor compensation for my death from the same people who effectively hit the last nail in my coffin with their recent aerial campaign in Iraq.”
The masked militant with a British accent, holding and gesturing with a knife, then gave the following message as Foley knelt by his side.
This is James Wright Foley, an American citizen of your country. As a government, you have been at the forefront of the aggression towards the Islamic State. You have plotted against us and gone far out of your way to find reasons to interfere in our affairs. Today your military air force is attacking us daily in Iraq. Your strikes have caused casualties amongst Muslims.
You are no longer fighting an insurgency. We are an Islamic army, and a state that has been accepted by a large number of Muslims worldwide. So effectively any aggression towards the Islamic State is an aggression towards Muslims from all walks of life who have accepted the Islamic caliphate as their leadership. So any attempt by you, Obama, to deny the Muslims their rights of living in safety under the Islamic caliphate will result in the bloodshed of your people.
Obama spoke at Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts this week, where he was vacationing with his family.
“Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group, ISIL,” Obama said, saying the nation was “heartbroken” and condemning the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, which he called a “cancer,” for “an act of violence that shocks the conscience of the entire world.”
Obama said Foley was a man “who courageously told the stories of his fellow human beings.”
“His life stands in stark contrast to his killers,” Obama said. “ISIL speaks for no religion. Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day.”
“Their ideology is bankrupt,” he added. “People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future’s won by those who build and not destroy. The world is shaped by people like Jim Foley.”
According to the NY Post, the 24-year-old Abdel-Majed, “whose father is awaiting trial in Manhattan for a pair of US embassy bombings, is a leading suspect in the barbaric beheading of American journalist Jim Foley.”
The rapper recently tweeted a photo of himself holding up a severed head, thought to possibly belong to James Foley. American counterterrorism experts are en route to the UK to assist with identifying Foley’s killer. The Post says that “former hostages held by ISIS have said [Abdel-Majed] is one of several jihadists they nicknamed “the Beatles” due to their British accents.”