The case of Jihadi John, identified as Mohammed Emwazi, highlighted the clandestine culture of abuse among British authorities, according to an independent advocacy group. According to CAGE, email correspondence between them and Jihadi John revealed only one among many cases of how British security services systematically engage in the harassment of young Muslims.
Jihadi John, Mohammed Emwazi
Emwazi moved to the UK at the age of six and lived there as a British citizen until he is 26 years old. He was practically raised in West London, finishing his college degree in 2009. Around that time, he had hoped to come back to his own country, Kuwait, to jumpstart his career.
When everything was set, including a marriage, Emwazi and his friends first went on a holiday get-together to Tanzania. However, his nightmare started when their plane landed on August 2009. Border officials stopped them at the airport. They were detained and interrogated. What followed were years and years of torment as proven by Emwazi’s email correspondence with CAGE from 2009 until January 2012.
The harassment by British officials continued through the years. Emwazi lost two fiancés, his job and his dream life in Kuwait, though the harassment that went on for years never materialized into any criminal charge against him.
The Culture of Abuse
British authorities have systematically hid its culture of abuse behind the spotlight, Asim Qureshi, research Director of CAGE, said. Authorities have targeted young Muslims in the hopes of recruiting them as informants. However, the system has made the lives of Muslims like Emwazi impossible to live through, Qureshi said.
“The culture of abuse now runs so deep in the UK that there are virtually entire communities which, due to security services acting outside of the rule of law, no longer have access to due process. Individuals are prevented from traveling, placed under house arrest and in the worst cases tortured, rendered or killed, seemingly on the whim of security agents,” Qureshi said.
He went on to say they know of some young Britons whose lives were destroyed by British security agencies. Also, there are youths who became radicalized because of British counter-terrorism policies and strong objections against Western foreign policy.
Qureshi highlighted that Jihadi John’s case should be an inciting incident for a review of British domestic and foreign policies, which should be amended if all parties want to promote peace and safety.
“What risk assessments, if any, have been made about British counter-terrorism policy and the key part it plays in radicalizing individuals? How have the security services been allowed to get away with abusing British citizens without redress? Why are the long—standing grievances over Western interventions in the Muslim world been ignored?”