U.S. Designates Indian-Origin UK Citizen as Global Terrorist
Siddhartha Dhar, also known as “Jihadi John,” had appeared in a video of ISIS in 2016 that showed the execution of several prisoners.
The U.S. State Department designated Indian-origin British ISIS member Siddhartha Dhar among Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) on Jan. 23. In designating Dhar as a global terrorist, the United States is trying to restrict his access to resources.
“These designations seek to deny Dhar the resources they need to plan and carry out further terrorist attacks. Among other consequences, all of Dhar’s property and interests in property subject to United States jurisdiction are blocked, and United States persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them,” the State Department statement said.
Who is Siddhartha Dhar?
Siddhartha Dhar, who is in his 30s, was a leading member of the now-defunct terrorist organization Al-Muhajiroun. In September 2014, he left the United Kingdom to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group. He vanished after being out on bail for encouraging terrorism in the United Kingdom. He is also known as Abu Rumaysah and was reportedly popular among radical Islamists in London. He is considered to have replaced ISIS executioner Mohammad Emwazi, also known as “Jihadi John.”
Police had banned him from traveling and asked him to hand over his passport, but he boarded a train to Paris with his family. A few weeks after he vanished he posted a photo from Syria with a rifle and his newborn fourth child.
“What a shoddy security system Britain must have to allow me to breeze through Europe to [IS],” he had tweeted.
Dhar is believed to be the masked leader who appeared in a January 2016 ISIS video of the execution of several prisoners accused by the terror outfit of spying for the United Kingdom.
He was born in a Hindu family but converted to Islam in his teens and took the name Saiful Islam (Abu Rumaysah is a nickname, which means “Father of Rumaysah”). He became a proponent of the al-Muhajiroun network, a banned group in the United Kingdom.
He had also appeared on the BBC’s Sunday Morning Live program after gaining fame through his YouTube videos and other speeches about the Sharia way of life.