Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.
The British prime minister’s sudden return to London is a mark of the horror with which the UK government has been confronted in the brutal murder of American journalist James Foley at the hands of Islamic State militants.
British intelligence services are searching for a man with a British accent whose voice is heard on the I-S video that appears to show Foley’s beheading.
Intelligence agencies estimate there are thousands of foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria. Men like this one who claims to be from Britain.
And here, on the right, another British citizen Reyaad Khan. Many of the foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria are known to intelligence agencies from a number of countries.
In the hunt for James Foley’s killer, Britain’s counter-terrorism police will be examining voice recordings for clues to an identity.
The fear is that British Jihadists, fighting in Iraq and Syria, would return to the UK battle hardened, radicalized and pose a threat, a security problem for both police and the public.
The barbaric images of James Foley’s murder have brought something else with them: A sense of national horror and some disbelief that this multi-cultural and what some see as a largely tolerant place could produce an individual capable of such a home-grown terrorism.