- POSTED: 21 Aug 2014 22:24
British authorities are under pressure to tackle the growing problem of UK nationals joining jihadists in the Middle East, after a video showed the beheading of American journalist James Foley by a British accented militant.
LONDON: British authorities are busy attempting to identity the militant in the Islamic State (IS) video showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley. The man spoke with a British accent, adding further pressure on the British government to tackle the growing problem of British nationals joining the IS.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said it is looking "increasingly likely" that the militant in the video was a British national, although he has warned against a "knee-jerk reaction". He has been named in some media reports as "John" - with claims that he left the United Kingdom for Syria within the last three years. There are also reports that he had been fighting for Islamic State alongside fellow British nationals, within a select group which was tasked with guarding IS hostages.
The British government and intelligence agencies are working hard to try and identify the man and will use sophisticated techniques including voice-recognition.
The British accent from the suspect also further highlights the growing problem of a number of British nationals who are travelling to the Middle East to fight for extremist groups - something Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the government is well aware of. It is believed that there are around 400 British nationals fighting for IS.
Experts say that situation is getting out of control, calling for tougher measures to monitor not only those British nationals who are leaving for the Middle East, but also those coming back with those same dangerous ideologies.