‘Is­lamic State WhiteWi­dow killed in US drone strike’

Western Mail - - NEWS - Rachael Bur­nett and Nina Massey news­desk@waleson­line.co.uk

BRI­TISH IS re­cruiter Sally-Anne Jones, dubbed the White Widow, is un­der­stood to have been killed in a US drone strike.

Jones was killed close to the bor­der be­tween Syria and Iraq by a US Air Force strike in June, ac­cord­ing to The Sun.

She and her hus­band Ju­naid Hus­sain went to Syria in 2013 to join IS.

He was killed by a US drone in 2015, and had al­legedly been plan­ning “bar­baric at­tacks against the West”, in­clud­ing ter­ror plots tar­get­ing “high pro­file public com­mem­o­ra­tions” this sum­mer.

News of her death was not made public amid fears that her 12-yearold son Jojo may also have been killed, ac­cord­ing to The Sun.

Jones, who was pre­vi­ously a mem­ber of an all-fe­male punk rock group, left her home in Chatham, Kent, after con­vert­ing to Is­lam.

She used her Twit­ter ac­count to re­cruit women and pro­vided prac­ti­cal ad­vice on how to travel to Syria.

Born in Green­wich, Lon­don, she en­cour­aged in­di­vid­u­als to carry out at­tacks in Bri­tain, of­fer­ing guid­ance on how to con­struct home-made bombs. She has also shared pic­tures of her­self pos­ing with weapons, and used so­cial me­dia to post ex­trem­ist com­ments, in­clud­ing of­fer­ing to be­head Chris­tians.

The IS re­cruiter shares the name “White Widow” with Saman­tha Lewth­waite who was once mar­ried to July 7 bomber Ger­maine Lind­say, and is thought to be one of the world’s most wanted women.

Asked whether the US asked the Bri­tish Gov­ern­ment for per­mis­sion to carry out the strike, Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May said: “I’m aware of the re­ports about this par­tic­u­lar is­sue but I’m not in a po­si­tion to com­ment fur­ther.”

She also de­clined to com­ment on whether Jones’ 12-year-old son had been killed in the strike.

Mrs May’s of­fi­cial spokesman de­clined to com­ment on re­ports of Jones’s death but said: “More broadly, the UK ad­vises against all travel to Syria.

“Any­one who does travel to Syria for what­ever rea­son is putting them­selves at con­sid­er­able dan­ger and that is par­tic­u­larly true if they are fight­ing for our en­e­mies.”

“The counter-Daesh coali­tion, led by the US, fol­lows clear and law­ful rules of en­gage­ment.”

Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn said: “It is un­con­firmed so we have to be quite care­ful on this, but quite clearly it is sig­nif­i­cant if it has hap­pened.”

Asked if he would have pre­ferred that Jones had been pros­e­cuted, he said: “I think that peo­ple who have com­mit­ted crimes ought to be put on trial. That way of course when you in­ter­ro­gate some­one you get more information about the back­ground to it.”

A For­eign Of­fice spokes­woman said: “We do not com­ment on mat­ters of na­tional se­cu­rity.”

In 2015, a for­mer Cardiff school­boy who had joined Is­lamic State was killed in a drone strike.

Reyaad Khan had been a “pro­lific re­cruiter and at­tack-plan­ner”, claimed in­tel­li­gence re­ports.

> Is­lamic State re­cruiter Sally-Anne Jones was killed in June this year, ac­cord­ing to US in­tel­li­gence chiefs

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