UK: Islamic State’s poster boy executioner, British ‘Jihadi Sid’ aka Siddhartha Dhar, has been killed alongside his wife and five children in a drone strike in Syria last year, officials familiar with the Syrian war say.

Dhar, 35, became Islamic State’s poster boy after a U.S. drone strike vaporised another Brit, Mohammed Emwazi, dubbed Jihadi John.

Ten minutes of sickening footage released by Islamic State in January 2016 showed Dhar leading the execution of five shackled men accused of being spies for the UK.

He was seen threatening then Prime Minister David Cameron, branding him an “imbecile”, before coldly shooting a terrified prisoner in the back of the head.

Born in a Bengali Hindu family in Britain, Siddhartha Dhar converted to Islam at the age of 19 and came to be known as Abu Rumaysah. By some accounts, he ‘changed’ as a teenager, after his father’s death, when he started shunning television and began sleeping on the floor. Other reports say it was because he wanted to marry Aisha. What’s undisputed, however, is the radicalisation that followed.

He became a street preacher, advocating Shariah law in the UK. Consequently, in September 2014, after being arrested for allegedly encouraging terrorism, he was let out on bail and told to submit his passport to the authorities. Instead, Rumayasah, Aisha and their three children boarded a train to Paris from London’s Victoria Station and ultimately to Syria.

Shortly after, he tweeted a photograph brandishing an AK-47 in one hand and holding his new-born, his fourth baby, in the other. “What a shoddy security system Britain must have to allow me to breeze through Europe to (IS),” he wrote.

On 23 January, Abu Rumaysah, was designated as a global terrorist by the United States.

Dhar was a former henchman of hate preacher Anjem Choudary.

Dhar became a member of Anjem Choudary’s terrorist group Al-Muhajiroun

Pals, who knew him as Sid, say he drank booze and wanted to become a dentist. But he converted to Islam in his teens and was lured into extremism by Choudary’s banned Al-Muhajiroun group, soon becoming one of his closest aides.

In 2016 a female Yazidi refugee aged just 17 said she had been kidnapped and trafficked by Dhar.

Nihad Barakat, who was trafficked at the age of 15 managed to escape two years later and revealed the role played by ‘Abu Dhar’ based in Mosul.

“When I was captured near Kirkuk, they took me to another leader from Mosul. His name was Abu Dhar (Abu Rumaysah or Siddhartha Dhar). He also took Yazidi girls for himself. Every day he would tell me that I had to marry another man. They raped us, they killed our men, they took our babies away from us. The worst thing was the torture in Mosul. We were beaten and raped continuously for two weeks. Girls were taken from their families and raped constantly and then they were handed out to ‘emirs’,” she told Independent.

In May 2015, he “published” a 46-page travel guide for would-be fellow travellers to the Islamic State. He said, the Islamic State “screams diversity “and has become a “magnet for talent”.

“If you thought London or New York was cosmopolitan then wait until you step foot in the Islamic State,” he wrote.

According to the BBC, “he would stand outside mosques on Friday afternoons, seeking to find new followers to the radical network’s way of thinking. He would post videos online and rarely turned down an opportunity to speak to the media. And when he spoke he barely hid his radical views.”

In that sense, Abu Rumayasah, was an IS recruit who had a very public profile even before he left for Syria. He’d been interviewed on numerous occasions by networks like the BBC, Channel 4 and CBS.

In 2014 when the Islamic State destroyed the border between Iraq and Syria, Rumayasah believed it was “the moment a new Islamic regime worthy of global support had been born.”

In a video posted on his YouTube channel, he said –

The Caliphate is a dream for all Muslims. We can finally have a sanctuary where we can practice our religion and live under Shariah. It is a big, big thing.

In an interview on BBC’s Sunday Morning Live show, he said –

Now that we have this Caliphate I think you’ll see many Muslims globally seeing it as an opportunity for the Koran to be realised. As a Muslim I would like to see the UK governed by the Sharia. It is far superior to democracy. I don’t really identify myself with British values. I am Muslim first, second and last.

Abu Rumayasah was also among the radicals interviewed for CBS News’ 60 Minutes programme, for an episode titled ‘Campaigning for ISIS in the West’, where among other things, he spoke to Clarrisa Ward about his family and the difficulty he faces in embracing them. Here’s an excerpt –

Abu Rumaysah: I don’t love them as non Muslims, but I desire for them to become Muslim and embrace Islam.
Clarissa Ward: But you love her as your mother?
Abu Rumaysah: She’s my mother and she has rights over me, so I have to take care of her. I have to look after her. I have to make sure that, you know, she’s protected and secure. So I fulfill my obligations like that.
Clarissa Ward: But do you feel love for her?
Abu Rumaysah: It’s not allowed for me to love non-Muslims. So that’s something that is a matter of faith.
Clarissa Ward: So do you feel that you are British?
Abu Rumaysah: I identify myself as a Muslim. If I was born in a stable, you know, I’m not going to be a horse. If was born in Nazi Germany, I’m not going to be a Nazi. I mean, this is just an island I was born in.

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