Is Libyan ISIS Beach Executioner an American Recruit?
Intelligence chiefs are investigating claims the ISIS terrorist who led the executions of 21 Egyptians was an American recruit.
The militant, who spoke English with a U.S. accent, appeared in a horrific video on Sunday showing the beheadings of a group of Coptic Christians on a beach in Libya.
Brandishing a knife, he declares: ‘All crusaders… the sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah we will mix it with your blood.’
The men are then forced to lie face-down before they are beheaded simultaneously.
Professor Erik Thomas, a linguistics expert at North Carolina State University, believes he ‘sounds like an American’ with some Arabic influence, based on some of word pronunciations.
Another U.S. specialist, who asked not to be named told ABC News that he may be a native Arabic speaker who learned English by spending ‘a significant amount of time’ in America.
The suggestion he may have been radicalised in the U.S. comes as the Obama administration faced heavy criticism for suggesting that defeating ISIS requires more of a jobs program for terrorists than a sophisticated approach to killing them.