UK ji­hadi ‘White Widow’ killed by US drone, re­port says

Jerusalem Post - - REGIONAL NEWS -

LONDON (Reuters) – Sally Jones, a Bri­tish ji­hadi who re­cruited on­line for Is­lamic State, has been killed in Syria by a US drone along with her 12-year-old son, The Sun re­ported on Thurs­day.

A con­vert to Is­lam from south­ern Eng­land, Jones was nick­named the “White Widow” by the Bri­tish press after her ji­hadi hus­band Ju­naid Hus­sain, also an ISIS mem­ber, was killed by a drone in 2015.

Quot­ing a Bri­tish in­tel­li­gence source who had been briefed by US coun­ter­parts, the pa­per re­ported that Jones and her son had been killed in June close to Syria’s bor­der with Iraq, as she was at­tempt­ing to flee the ISIS strong­hold of Raqqa.

US in­tel­li­gence chiefs were quoted as say­ing they could not be 100% cer­tain that Jones had been killed as there was no way of re­cov­er­ing any DNA from the ground, but they were “con­fi­dent” she was dead.

Her son JoJo was pre­sumed to be dead too, al­though his pres­ence with her was not known at the time of the drone strike and he was not an in­tended tar­get, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May’s spokesman de­clined to com­ment di­rectly on the re­port, as did De­fense Sec­re­tary Michael Fal­lon.

“If you are a Bri­tish na­tional in Iraq or Syria, and if you have cho­sen to fight for Daesh [ISIS], an il­le­gal or­ga­ni­za­tion that is pre­par­ing and in­spir­ing ter­ror at­tacks on our streets, then you’ve made your­self a le­git­i­mate tar­get,” Fal­lon told re­porters in London.

“And you run the risk ev­ery hour of ev­ery day of be­ing on the wrong end of an RAF or a United States mis­sile,” he said.

One Western se­cu­rity source, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity, said that Jones had not been heard of since ear­lier this year so the as­sump­tion was that she was dead, al­though the source re­fused to con­firm the de­tails of the re­port.

Other ISIS ter­ror­ists have been re­ported dead only to reap­pear.

A Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Agency spokes­woman de­clined to com­ment.

Jones, who be­fore her ji­hadi days was once a singer in a punk band, has been the sub­ject of years of fas­ci­na­tion by the Bri­tish press.

She was be­lieved to have left her home in Chatham, in the south­ern county of Kent, in 2013 to travel to Syria, where she mar­ried Hus­sain whom she had met on­line.

She was ac­tive as an on­line re­cruiter and some­times posted pro­pa­ganda mes­sages on so­cial me­dia, in­clud­ing a strik­ing pho­to­graph of her­self dressed as a nun point­ing a gun to­wards the cam­era.

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