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Friday, August 22, 2014

The hunt for James Foley's killer begins

James Foley's captors demanded a ransom of $132 million for his release.  His family had been trying to raise the money but the US and the UK don't pay ransoms in kidnapping cases.

It seems the poor man was subjected to terrible mental torture once they discovered his brother was in the US Air Force.  Several times they told him to prepare for death only to change their minds.  And at the end, he didn't plead or beg for his life, he died with dignity. 

Even though his killer's eyes are the only thing showing, Britain and the US are working together to track him down. Spy agencies can link voice-recognition software to social media postings and the killers are all hooked on Facebook and Twitter.  

There is now little doubt that he's British with a London accent. Most of the western jihadists can't resist posting pictures of themselves and even talk about their favourite soccer teams online.

John O'Regan, a linguist at the University of London's Institute of Education said the killer spoke with a "multicultural London English" accent but with more formal standard English pronunciation, suggesting that his words denouncing American actions in the Middle East had been carefully scripted.  "The person is taking great care to do 'posh talk' as it were, they are very mindful of their p's and q's."  

He said that even though the speech differs from the man's normal speaking voice, "there are enough features in the accent" to provide strong clues to his identity.

So will his mates in London give him up?  The British Muslim Council said people have a duty to turn him into police if they know who he is. 

ASIO has already identified Australian-born jihadists fighting in Syria and Iraq and so has Britain, so why don't our Prime Ministers confiscate their passports so they can't come back?  Any remaining relatives living here would then be at liberty to pack up and join them.

Yet Tony Abbott or David Cameron refuse to do it.  Why not?