US Targeted 'Jihadi John' in Airstrike in Syria, Pentagon Says

Islamic State extremists have released a video showing the beheading of British aid worker David Haines, who was abducted in Syria last year. (Associated Press)
Islamic State extremists have released a video showing the beheading of British aid worker David Haines, who was abducted in Syria last year. (Associated Press)

The U.S. military launched an airstrike against Mohammed Emwazi, the knife-wielding executioner for the Islamic State who was also known as "Jihadi John," the Pentagon said. The strike was conducted on Thursday in Raqqa, Syria, according to a statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook.

"We are assessing the results of tonight's operation and will provide additional information as and where appropriate," he said.

Emwazi is widely viewed as the sinister mouthpiece of the al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, also known as ISIL. A British citizen, he participated in numerous videos depicting the murders of Western hostages, including U.S. journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, U.S. aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, and a number of others, according to the statement. The mission involved "persistent surveillance" and authorities knew it was Emwazi when they took the shot, CNN reported. He was in a vehicle at the time of the strike, which was launched from a drone, the network reported.

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