British Intelligence officials have zeroed in on a suspect in the on-camera ISIS murder of American journalist Jim Foley, and he is widely believed to be a slim, light-skinned rapper from London.
Though the MI5 and MI6 agencies are not releasing the man's name, reports say Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary — also known as “Lyricist Jinn” or “L Jinny” — is the main suspect. According to USA Today, he was identified via voice comparisons, and Abdel Bary's music career left them plenty of samples to consider. USA Today reports that U.S. intelligence has not yet been able to confirm the results.
Abdel Bary's father, Adel Abdel Bari, is believed to have been an associate of Osama bin Laden's and was allegedly involved in the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings. He was extradited to the U.S. in 2012.
The younger Bary's music seems to chart his path to radicalization:
In early songs put online in 2012, Bary makes apparent reference to drug use, violence and life on a council estate and talks about the threat of his family being deported to Egypt.
“It’s hard to progress in the future with a damaged past but still I try to count my blessings and I thank Allah,” he rapped in 2012.
“I’m trying to change my ways but there’s blood on my hands and I can’t change my ways until there's funds in the bank.
“I can’t differentiate the angels from the demons, my heart’s disintegrating. I ain't got normal feelings.
“Even my life’s blessed, still I will not find rest.”
In later songs, apparent references to cannabis (“roll up and watch the leaves ignite”) stop and are replaced with tirades against people who choose to spend their money clubbing, drinking and on drugs rather than feeding their families.
About 500 Britons are believed to be fighting in Syria under the flag of ISIS, as well as several hundred individuals from the U.S. and Canada.