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Islamic State confirms: ‘Jihadi John’ killed in Syrian drone strike in November

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The Islamic State group confirmed Tuesday the death of British extremist “Jihadi John”, saying he was killed in a drone strike in their Syrian stronghold of Raqa in November.

Born Mohammed Emwazi, he was known as the executioner of the jihadist group appearing masked in a string of videos showing the beheadings of Western hostages.

In its online magazine Dabiq, the group said Emwazi was killed on November 12 “as the car he was in was targeted in a strike by an unmanned drone in the city of Raqa, destroying the car and killing him instantly”.

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The US military had said at the time that it was “reasonably certain” he had been killed in the strike.

IS described Emwazi as a “martyr” and prayed to “Allah… to envelop him with His mercy and enter him into the highest levels of al-Firdaws (paradise)”.

Dabiq devoted an article to Emwazi, describing him as an “honourable brother” known for his “mercy and generosity” who once gave away a concubine as a gift “to an unmarried injured brother”. …

The world knew him as a ruthless executioner who spoke English with a British accent and he was dubbed “Jihadi John” after hostages nicknamed a group of IS guards The Beatles.

He first appeared in a video in August 2014 showing the beheading of James Foley, a 40-year-old American freelance journalist captured in Syria in 2012.

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Foley is seen kneeling on the ground, dressed in an orange outfit resembling those worn by prisoners held at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay. Emwazi is dressed entirely in black.

– ‘Human animal’ –

The Pentagon has said Emwazi participated in videos showing the murders of Foley and fellow US journalist Steven Sotloff, US aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, and a number of other hostages.

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Emwazi was last seen in the video showing Goto’s execution in January.

On November 13, the US military said it was “reasonably certain” Emwazi, 27, was killed in a drone attack in Syria while he was being driven in a car.

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He was targeted in a combined British-US operation the previous day in Raqa, de facto capital of IS in war-torn Syria.

Intelligence sources had been tracking Emwazi “for some time,” Baghdad-based military spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said at the time.

“This guy was a human animal, and killing him probably makes the world a little bit better place,” he added.

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Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron had said if confirmed, Emwazi’s death would be “a strike at the heart” of the IS group.

A London computer programmer, Emwazi was born in Kuwait to a stateless family of Iraqi origin. His parents moved to Britain in 1993 after their hopes of obtaining Kuwaiti citizenship were quashed.

Emwazi was six years old when his family moved to London. He grew up in North Kensington, a leafy middle-class area where a network of Islamist extremists was uncovered in recent years.


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Trump nominates Clarence Thomas’ wife to co-manage the Library of Congress Trust Fund: report

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On Thursday, The Daily Beast's Sam Stein reported that President Donald Trump is nominating Virginia Thomas to serve on the Library of Congress Trust Fund board of directors.

Trump just nominated Virginia Thomas, longtime conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to be a Member of the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board.

— Sam Stein (@samstein) May 28, 2020

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Trump is desperate and clinging to anything he can use — including overt threats of violence

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Donald Trump, by design, is a chaos monster who shovels crap out faster than people can process it. Unencumbered by normal human qualities like empathy or conscience, Trump can bounce from one awful behavior from another — grifting, sexual assault and harassment, racism, lying, conspiracy-mongering, criminal schemes — with astonishing speed, doing more wicked deeds in a day that what most aspiring villains can accomplish in a year or even a lifetime.

This article was originally published at Salon

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2020 Election

‘Cowardly’ and ‘shameful’: Critics say Trump’s refusal to release mid-year economic forecast an obvious election year ploy

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"It gets them off the hook for having to say what the economic outlook looks like."

Administration officials have confirmed that the White House, breaking with decades of precedent, will not publish a mid-year economic forecast—a decision critics said is an obvious move to shield President Donald Trump from the political implications of a tanking economy ahead of November's election.

"Trump figures if he doesn't tell people they're out of work, they won't know they're out of work," tweeted writer Gerry Conway.

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