'Jihadi John' recording released by human rights group, said 9/11 was 'wrong'

London Mayor Boris Johnson condemned Cage, the organization that released the tape, for suggesting harassment by intelligence agencies which led Mohammed Emwazi to radicalize.
By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |  March 3, 2015 at 9:11 AM
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LONDON, March 3 (UPI) -- An audio tape recorded in 2009 of alleged Islamic State militant Mohammed "Jihadi John" Emwazi has been released, in which he denied extremism and complained about harassment by British intelligence.

Controversial U.K. human rights group Cage interviewed and recorded Emwazi about a year after an incident where he attempted to go into Tanzania for what he said was a safari holiday, but was instead deported to Amsterdam and interrogated by MI5. Cage released an edited recording.

"He [the MI5 officer] looked at me and he said 'I still believe that you're going to Somalia to train'," Emwazi told Cage.

Emwazi said the officer threatened him by saying: "We're going to keep a close eye on you Mohammed, we already have been."

Emwazi also said the officer asked for his opinion on the war in Afghanistan, the July 7 attacks in London as well as the Sept. 11 attacks.

"What do you want me to say?" Emwazi said he told the officer. "If I had the opportunity for those lives to come back then I would make those lives come back."

"He just started, you know, going on trying to put words into my mouth," Emwazi said about the officer. The intelligence officer suggested that Emwazi was an extremist.

Emwazi said he described the Sept. 11 attacks as "wrong."

Cage's research director, Asim Qureshi, suggested harassment by British intelligence could have contributed to Emwazi's radicalization. He and London Mayor, Boris Johnson, had a heated discussion on the LBC radio program.

Qureshi accused Johnson of "unfairly representing" Cage's views. Johnson confronted Qureshi's suggestion of security services enabling Emwazi's actions.

"I really, really think that the focus of your indignation and your outrage should be on people who go out to join groups that throw gays off cliffs, that behead people who don't subscribe to their version of Islam, that glorify in the execution of innocent journalists and aid workers," Johnson told Qureshi on the radio program. "I just feel you have got it 100 percent the wrong way up. The security services are trying to keep us safe. They cannot conceivably be blamed."

Qureshi replied by stating that Cage never said Emwazi was radicalized by security agencies.

"I said we want to understand whether or not security agencies, their actions led to him feeling that he is not part of U.K. society," Qureshi said.

Johnson replied by saying: "If you are a human rights group funded by charity then you should be sticking up for the human rights of those being beheaded in Syria and Northern Iraq, that should be the focus of your concern."

Emwazi was identified as "Jihadi John" on Thursday. He has appeared in several propaganda videos, some featuring beheadings, including the videos of Japanese hostages Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto, before their executions. He has been described as quiet, intelligent and "most deliberate" by former Islamic State hostages.

The released audio tape in full:

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