Operation targeting ‘Jihadi John' hinged on Turkish intelligence

Published 18.11.2015 00:00

According to reports, the U.S. and British operation that highly likely killed the British DAESH executioner, "Jihadi John," was based on intelligence shared by Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MİT).

According to reports in Turkish media on Tuesday, Kuwaiti-born Briton Mohammed Emzawi, the executioner in many DAESH videos, was detected in Raqqa, the self-proclaimed DAESH capital, through shared intelligence of the MİT and killed in a joint drone strike on Friday, Nov. 13.

In the strike, missiles fired from two U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drones and one British MQ-9 destroyed the car in which he was thought to be in. Despite growing optimism that he was killed, a formal determination of his death has yet to be announced.

According to the reports, the MİT provided intelligence after capturing Aine Leslie Junior Davis, a suspected associate of Emzawi, in a million-dollar DAESH cell house in Istanbul's Silivri district on Nov. 12.

It started with the MİT determining that Davis and a female British messenger arrived at Raqqa on Nov. 4 and started to hold meetings. The MİT shared the intelligence with Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) MI-6. According to the intelligence shared from MI-6, the woman has connections with Emzawi.

Monitoring the woman in Raqqa, the MİT later discovered her location and that Davis had left Raqqa on Nov. 7 and crossed into the village of Çıldıroba near Turkey's Syrian border town of Kilis. The jihadi moved to a cell house in Gaziantep the same day where he stayed for two nights and arrived in Istanbul on Nov. 10.

Davis was captured in a raid in Silivri on Nov. 12 along with four other suspects in Istanbul, while 11 people, including seven foreign nationals were detained in Kilis and Gaziantep.

Sources claim some 20 foreigners were inside the villa at the time of the raid, including women and children. Police seized around 100 flash disks and hard drives in the operation.

According to reports, although Davis declined to comment during his interrogation in Istanbul, necessary information was gained through a digital investigation of his phone line.

Turkish authorities also suspect Davis may have been planning attacks in Istanbul similar to Friday's attacks in Paris, two security sources told Reuters on Sunday.

"Davis is a figure with key responsibilities within DAESH and he wasn't caught alone. He was within a group," the source said.

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