'Jihadi John' believed killed in drone strike

U.S. and British officials believe that a drone strike that targeted a car carrying four ISIS leaders killed the notorious terrorist known as Jihadi John.  He has been seen in several Islamic State videos with hostages immediately before they were executed.


A U.S. official said Thursday's attack in the town of Raqqa probably killed Mohammed Emwazi, a British citizen who was nicknamed "Jihadi John" after appearing in videos showing the killings of American and British hostages.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, said four foreign militants had been killed in U.S. air strikes.

"A car carrying four foreign Islamic State leaders, including one British Jihadi was hit by U.S. air strikes right after the governorate building in Raqqa city," Rami Abdulrahman, Director of the UK-based Observatory told Reuters.

"All the sources there are saying that the body of an important British Jihadi is lying in the hospital of Raqqa. All the sources are saying it is of Jihadi John but I cannot confirm it personally."

The Pentagon said it was still assessing the effectiveness of the strike in Raqqa, the de facto capital of Islamic State.

E‎mwazi participated in the videos showing the murders of U.S. journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, U.S. aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, and a number of other hostages.The British government said it had "been working hand in glove with the Americans" to defeat Islamic State "and to hunt down those murdering Western hostages."

It said Prime Minister David Cameron had said "tracking down these brutal murderers was a top priority".

It's nice that the terrorist has gotten his just reward, but note the language used by government officials.  They are talking as if this is a law enforcement operation.  How does it fit into the overall strategy to defeat the Islamic State? 

The answer is, we don't know, because we don't have an overall strategy to defeat the Islamic State.  Defense Secretary Ash Carter has promised that the U.S. will increase the intensity of the bombing campaign, but you can't increase missions unless you increase the targets.  And so far, the Islamic State has shown that it can hide in plain sight, using civilians as cover. 

It's all bluster and sleight of hand.  President Obama is marking time until the end of his term in office, hoping against hope that ISIS doesn't have a breakout moment.  But the Islamic State is now advancing in Libya and has Lebanon in the cross hairs.  It is making inroads in Yemen and is sizing up Tunisia.  They are advancing everywhere, and the best response we have to date has been to bomb a few isolated ISIS positions in order to avoid civilian casualties and send about 50 special operators to advise the Kurds.

Jihadi John is dead.  ISIS is alive.  And the West is on the run.

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