White Widow and son killed after law change
Prolific Isil recruiter Sally-anne Jones was ‘legitimate target’, insists UK Defence Secretary
Sally-anne Jones, a British Islamic State recruiter known as the White Widow, is believed to have been killed in a CIA operation, after Donald Trump relaxed restrictions on the US spy agency’s drone strikes programme. Jones reportedly died close to the border between Syria and Iraq, in a strike thought to have also killed her 12-year-old son Jojo Dixon. The punk rock singer-turned-jihadist became Britain’s most wanted woman after fleeing from Kent to Syria in 2013, where she became a prolific online recruiter for the extremist group.
A BRITISH Isil recruiter known as the White Widow and her 12-year-old son are believed to have been killed in a CIA operation after Donald Trump relaxed restrictions on the US spy agency’s drone strikes.
Sally-anne Jones reportedly died close to the border between Syria and Iraq, in a strike thought to have also killed her son Jojo Dixon.
The punk rock singer-turned-jihadist became Britain’s most wanted woman after fleeing to
Syria from Kent in 2013 to marry computer hacker Junaid Hussain, an Isil (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) fighter from Birmingham. Jones became a prolific online recruiter for the extremist movement and is believed to have attracted dozens of female recruits via social media. A defence source said the strike had been carried out by the CIA, which runs its own fleet of Predator drones armed with Hellfire missiles.
Mr Trump ramped up the CIA’S strike programme soon after taking office, allowing the agency more freedom to carry out strikes and hinting he may relax rules of engagement designed to protect civilians. The CIA declined to comment.
The British Government is not believed to have been consulted over the strike in June and there was no UK military involvement.
Sir Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, said Jones was a legitimate target. He warned British nationals who had joined Isil and were plotting attacks on Britain “you run the risk every hour of every day of being on the wrong end of an RAF or a United States missile”.
The sister of one girl recruited by Jones said she hoped the 50-year-old would “rot in hell”.
The woman, who declined to be named, said: “Sally Jones was an evil woman who has destroyed our family and I hope she rots in hell.
“My sister was a nice and caring person until she met Sally Jones online. Within months she radicalised her and then she changed and without us being able to have the chance to talk to her she left for Syria to join Islamic State.”
One counter-terrorism source told The Daily Telegraph that Jones had been a determined recruiter and a “media icon” for the group. The source said: “I don’t think the significance of her death should be underestimated. She was genuinely very dangerous.”
Jojo was reportedly used as a human shield by his mother and stepfather to protect them from military drone strikes. A photograph obtained by the Telegraph is the last known picture of him, taken in Raqqa in 2016 when he would have been aged 11. It shows the little boy wearing the uniform of the “cubs of the caliphate”, the clothing worn by the child soldiers of Isil.
Jones fled to Syria with her son at the end of November 2013, joining her boyfriend, an Islamist computer hacker she had met online. The couple later married in Raqqa.
Hussain, from Birmingham, was assassinated in a targeted US drone strike in August 2015 in Raqqa.
At the time of his death, the 21-yearold was, according to reports, the thirdhighest target on the Pentagon’s “kill list”.
The New York Times reported that Hussain “was careful to keep his young stepson by his side, and the drones held their fire”. He was executed in a drone strike late one night when he left an internet café alone, according to reports.
Hussain had hacked into a US government computer and posted online the names and addresses of 1,300 military and government employees and had urged followers of Islamic State in the US to “behead them in their own homes, stab them to death as they walk their streets”.
Sally-anne Jones, left, described as a ‘media icon’ for Isil, who died alongside her 12-year-old son Jojo Dixon, right. Her husband Junaid Hussain, below, was killed by a similar strike in 2015
The US has increased its drone attacks