The United States has designated an Indian-origin British man, Siddhartha Dhar, as a global terrorist after the country identified him as the ISIS’ executioner in Syria who was was seen in videos carrying out beheadings.
According to the US State Department, Dhar “is believed to be the masked leader who appeared in a January 2016 the IS video of the execution of several prisoners” who were accused by it of spying for Britain.
Here are 10 things to know about Siddhartha Dhar:
Also known as Abu Rumaysah, Dhar is in his early 30s.
He was born and raised in a Hindu family in the United Kingdom.
He converted to Islam in his late teens and took the name Saiful Islam (Abu Rumaysah is a “kunya”, or nickname, which means “Father of Rumaysah”).
Before leaving Syria to join the ISIS in 2014, was a member of a British terrorist organisation Al Muhajiroun.
At Al Muhajiroun, he became a leading member and speaker. He was a well-known figure among radical Islamists in London.
Siddhartha Dhar is considered to have replaced feared IS executioner known as “Jihadi John”.
Siddhartha or Abu Rumaysah disappeared in September 2014, after getting released on bail. He was still under investigation for allegedly encouraging terrorism.
Police had banned him from travelling and he was to submit his passport however, instead he boarded a coach for Paris from London’s Victoria Station, along with his wife and children.
Later, he posted an image online of himself holding a rifle and announced his arrival in Syria. “What a shoddy security system Britain must have to allow me to breeze through Europe to [IS],” he tweeted.
The US’ state department has said Dhar posed a terrorist threat to US citizens and interests and any property he may have in the US are frozen and Americans banned in dealing with them.