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Killer Elite: The Inside Story of America's Most Secret Special Operations Team Michael Smith is the defence correspondent of THE DAILY TELEGRAPH. Killer Elite: The Inside Story of America's Most Secret Special Operations Team .. Michael Smith has truly pulled back the curtain on one of the most secretive. Editions for Killer Elite: The Inside Story of America's Most Secret Special Operations Team: (Hardcover published in ), by Michael Smith First published February . Killer Elite: America's Most Secret Soldiers (ebook).
The response from al-Baghdadi was to declare himself the "Caliph" of a worldwide Islamic Caliphate and rename his group Islamic State, reflecting his new more global ambitions of replacing al-Qa'eda as the principle threat to the West.
By now his success in gaining ground and the simple but brutal pseudo-Islam terror imposed on any opponents, with the men murdered and the women forced into sexual slavery, had gained the group a substantial number of ruthless and battle-hardened followers. They swept into Iraq and, by June , they controlled Mosul, Iraq's second city, and more ominously the town of Fallujah just 40 miles west of the capital Baghdad. President Obama sent US Army special forces in to help the Iraqi military but was adamant he would not put troops on the ground in Syria.
Yet even as Obama spoke, the Activity was already back in its old hunting ground preparing the way for what was ultimately a failed attempt by Delta to rescue two U.
The result was their gruesome beheading on video by a masked British terrorist clad in black with only his eyes and his hands showing. He was known to the hostages simply as John because he was one of several Britons holding them captive, each of whom went by the first name of one of the Beatles, and he soon acquired the nickname "Jihadi John.
It was just nine minutes to midnight on 12 November when Jihadi John hurried out of a building close to the headquarters of Islamic State in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa. He was getting out of the city, accompanied by a team of bodyguards.
He knew he was a target for the U. Jihadi John had made himself a hate figure in the West with his ego-driven beheading of seven journalists and aid workers. Now he was in hiding, never using his phone or computer. Some said he had fled Syria for Libya. He hadn't. It was disinformation to try to confuse the U. But even Jihadi John didn't realize quite how much of a target he was. He had turned himself into the public face of Islamic State.
Even as he opened the door of the car, a Hellfire missile fired by an American Reaper drone several thousand feet above Raqqa was heading towards him at close to a thousand miles an hour. He had barely realized something was wrong before he was dead. The missile destroyed the car, leaving little evidence that Jihadi John and his friend had ever existed.
The Pentagon said he had been "evaporated. The brutal beheadings of foreign hostages had led to a manhunt involving virtually every U. The Activity was just one player in the race to find Jihadi John. The National Security Agency and Britain's Government Communications Headquarters along with the FBI and Britain's Security Service MI5 spent weeks trying to identify him, focusing primarily on voice recognition but also his skin colour, his height, physique, eyes and even the patterns of the veins on his hands.
By September , MI5 was confident that they had identified him. Jihadi John's real name was Mohammed Emwazi. He was born in Kuwait but when he was six his family moved to London where the young Mohammed lived a comfortable middle-class life in an affluent area of west London.
A diligent young man, he studied computing at Westminster College where he was radicalized by fellow students. After graduation, Emwazi attempted to get into Somalia to join al-Shabaab. He and a friend flew via Tanzania, where they were arrested and deported to the Netherlands and interrogated by MI5. Emwazi was eventually released for lack of evidence but, at the end of , he went to Syria, telling his parents he was going as an aid worker.
In fact, he was joining ISIS as one of an increasing number of western Muslims attracted by the organization's supposed idealism and success.
Identifying him was one thing. Maximum Guilt.
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