Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary: British jihadist rapper arrested in Spain

One of the best-known British faces of Islamic State, a former gangsta-rapper who called himself L Jinny, has been arrested in Spain.

The Isis fighter, whose real name was Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, once posed for a photograph on social media holding the severed head of a Syrian regime soldier. When he posed with the regime soldier’s head, he captioned the picture: Chillin’ with my homie, or what’s left of him.

This led to him being wrongly identified for a time as the executioner of British and American hostages who was nicknamed Jihadi John.

Spanish police said today that three men suspected of extremism had been arrested in the Mediterranean port city of Almeria.

They did not give the men’s names but said that one of them was one of the most sought terrorists in Europe, both because of his criminal trajectory in the ranks of Daesh [Isis] and because of the high danger that he represented. He was identified as Abdel Bary by Spanish newspapers, and subsequently by security sources.

Although there was little evidence behind his popular association with Jihadi John, Abdel Bary, 28, came from a similar background in west London as Mohammed Emwazi, the real person behind the nickname.

Unlike Emwazi, however, he had a family upbringing in extremism. His father, Adel Abdel Bary, came to Britain in exile with his wife from Egypt in 1991 after serving a prison sentence there for his links to radical groups.

He continued to be involved in radical Islamist activism, and was accused by the United States of involvement in the al-Qaeda bombing of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Arrested in 1999, he spent 13 years in custody fighting extradition, achieving the distinction of spending more time in a British prison without having been convicted of a crime than anyone else in modern history.

When finally put on trial in 2014, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to kill and was sentenced to 25 years after a plea bargain in which he admitted acting as a press officer for al-Qaeda in London.

His son was born around the time he came to Britain, and grew up in west London while his father was in prison. He became a small-time drug dealer, and rapper, before “going clean”, rediscovering religion, and moving to Syria after the outbreak of the civil war.

After the US-led coalition began supporting Kurdish and Iraqi forces against Isis, he disappeared back over the border with Turkey, and had not been heard of since, before today.

Copyright 2017 Content TiNYg RWT All rights reserved.

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